Cinnamon Bread

The smell of cinnamon is impossible to miss at Dollywood. It gets stronger as you approach the Grist Mill Bakery, where visitors line up to taste the famous cinnamon bread, sold at the rate of 200 loaves an hour! Some fans top it with apple butter, others prefer a drizzle of glaze, but Dolly Parton is known to simply slather hers with butter while it's warm.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 2 loaves
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Ingredients

For the Dough:

1/2 cup warm water (100 degrees F to 110 degrees F)

3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 tablespoon plus a pinch of granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups bread flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Cooking spray

For the Topping:

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

For the Glaze:

1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 to 5 tablespoons milk

Directions

  1. Make the dough: Combine the warm water, yeast and a pinch of granulated sugar in a small bowl and let sit until foamy, 5 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the bread flour, remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and salt in a stand mixer.
  2. Add the yeast mixture and melted butter to the flour mixture. Knead with the dough hook on medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Punch down the dough and transfer to a work surface; knead a few times. Cut in half and gently shape into two 3-by-6-inch loaves (do not overwork the dough). Place the loaves 3 inches apart on the prepared pan. Lightly spray the loaves with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until puffy, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Make the topping: Whisk the granulated sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small baking dish. Whisk the melted butter and corn syrup in another small baking dish.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Cut 4 deep slashes across the top of each loaf (the loaves will look deflated). Dip each loaf in the butter-corn syrup mixture, turning to coat, then coat with the cinnamon sugar, making sure to get the sugar in the crevices. Place the loaves in the prepared pans. Drizzle with any remaining butter mixture and sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake until light brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Lift the bread out of the loaf pans using the parchment overhang and transfer to a rack. Let cool in the paper, about 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners' sugar, salt, melted butter and 3 tablespoons milk in a bowl until smooth. Whisk in up to 2 more tablespoons milk as needed to loosen. Drizzle on the warm loaves or serve on the side for dipping.