Prior to an open house, realtors often suggest homeowners bake bread so the house smells ‘homey’ and encourages sales. Mr. Selfridge, the marketing genius, was the first to place perfume counters near his store’s front entrance to create a scent barrier between the muck and stink of the city outside and a lovely shopping experience inside. Even today, major retailers strategically position baking ovens, or purposefully scent the air, knowing how important fragrance is to a sense of well-being.
With the convenience of bread making machines, that same contented, bakery-fresh feeling can pervade your home with the push of a button.
The recipe below is slightly more labor-intensive than a regular loaf of white or wheat breads, but having just devoured a piece of the stuff – oh it is so worth it!
Basic Sweet Dough
As with any bread machine recipe, please refer to your particular machine’s manufacturer’s directions first.
(For 2 pound loaf)
3 eggs, large at room temperature
1/4 cup + 3 1/2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon yeast, active dry, instant or bread machine
After fitting with paddle, place all ingredients in order given above in bread pan. Place pan in machine, choose the dough setting.
Allow to complete cycle, approximately 1 1/2 hours, then remove from pan and place in large, lightly greased bowl. Punch dough down and let rest 10 minutes before continuing.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 – 2 tablespoons cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves, etc. to taste
Combine all three ingredients in small bowl, set aside.
Shape dough into rectangle, then cover with butter spice mixture, spreading evenly. beginning with widest edge, roll dough into log shape, pinching the seam edge with fingers.
Spray tube pan with non-stick baking spray.
Place dough seam side down in prepared pan.
Allow to rise in warm, draft free location until double, or until finger pressed into dough leaves an indention – approximately 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375*
Bake for 17 – 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven, allow to rest 5 minutes before removing from pan. While still warm, but before serving, drizzle (or slather?) bread with icing.
In small bowl combine powdered sugar with generous amounts of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, etc. and small amounts of milk and/or grade B maple syrup. Mix until smooth, adding milk or sugar as needed to reach desired consistency, noting that the icing will thicken as it sits.
Use as icing for breakfast breads, waffles, or to frost chocolate cake, etc.