Cinnamon-Orange Twist Bread


Recipe courtesy Kate Wood, Wood & Spoon

Cinnamon-Orange Twist Bread
Makes 1 (10-inch) loaf
  • Dough:
  • ½ cup whole milk, lukewarm
  • 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Filling:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  1. For dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together warm milk and 2 tablespoons sugar. Sprinkle with yeast, and allow yeast to activate, about 5 minutes. (The mixture should froth and foam slightly. You can stir it gently to make sure all the yeast has been moistened, but if the yeast does not foam, dump it out, and start over.) Once yeast has been activated, stir in ½ cup flour and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Add 1 egg and salt, and stir to combine.
  2. With mixer on low speed, add remaining 1½ cups flour, beating until combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed. Once evenly combined, increase mixer speed to medium (I use speed number 4 on my KitchenAid stand mixer), and add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape sides of bowl, and beat until dough is moist, sticky, and slightly stretchy, about 4 minutes.
  3. Lightly grease a large bowl, and place dough inside, covering it tightly with a piece of plastic wrap. Allow dough to rest in a warm spot in the kitchen until it has approximately doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.
  4. Once dough has risen, roll it out into an 18x12-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
  5. For filling: In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, and zest. Use the back of a fork to cut in butter, smooshing it together to make a thick paste. Spread mixture evenly over top of rolled out dough. Starting with one long end, roll dough somewhat tightly into one long tube, and pinch ends of dough to seal in filling. Use a sharp knife to slice down middle of the length of the dough, leaving 1 inch at top of one of the ends uncut. You should end up with two strands of rolled dough connected by a 1-inch chunk of dough at the top. (This will serve as the starting point for your braid, so you want the dough to remain connected here.) Turn the exposed innards of the dough roll to face upward, and then twist the dough, right over left, right over left, until entire length of dough has been twisted into one long piece. Join ends of dough to make a ring, pinching ends together slightly. Carefully transfer dough to a lightly greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Cover skillet with a piece of plastic wrap, and allow dough to rest until risen slightly, about 40 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon water and remaining 1 egg. Brush a thin layer of egg mixture over surface of dough.
  7. Bake until dough is puffed and golden brown throughout, about 30 to 40 minutes, covering with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool slightly.
  8. For glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and orange juice until smooth. Add additional sugar to thicken it up or extra juice to thin it out as needed. Drizzle over top of bread and serve. Bread will keep covered at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.



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