A Childhood Memory Brought to Life . . . (Custard Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe)
Or better known in our family as Grandma’s Good Bread. . .although having made it for the first time myself I am consider calling it “The Bread to End Breadmaking”, or “Made from Love (and a Lot of Labor) Bread”, or “Tricia’s Not a Baker Bread”.
There are few memories that are as etched in my mind as Grandma’s Good Bread (or GGB for short). Growing up I spent a great amount of time with my maternal grandparents when my parents split. They were the light of my life and are a driving force in the person that I have become today. They live mere miles away from me and I don’t visit them nearly as often as I should. I am sure that I will regret that one day but have yet to rectify the situation.
If there is one thing my grandmother will forever be known for, it is Grandma’s Good Bread. My grandmother doesn’t think she is much of a cook because she is a recipe follower but I beg to differ. And after making this bread for the first time on my own, I have to argue my point even further. Not everyone can follow a recipe; case in point, me trying to make this one.
The recipe seemed simple and straight-forward when I approached it but I was naive. I apparently didn’t inherent the “baker” gene, just the “cooking” gene and this was my first attempt at bread without my bread machine. It took me no less than 5 attempts (yes, 5) to get it right. I have more on that later in the week, as I wouldn’t want you to think I am perfectly gifted in the kitchen, after all. And on about attempt number four I realized that following a recipe is not all that it takes to create wonderful tasting food. And in baking, it takes patience, another virtue I was not greatly bestowed.
And a great family recipe, one that conjures up memories of sleep overs, and camping trips, and late nights curled up on the couch can not be created by simply following directions on a recipe card. It takes love, persistence, care and longevity. All things you can’t find on a piece of paper.
So know that every attempt to bring this recipe to light was well worth the time and energy that was put into it. (But I have added some extra notes to make it easier on you.) And as my son and daughter sat at the kitchen table Mmm’ing and begging for more, I hope that the legend of this recipe lives on. Not in its flavor profile but in the memories that will be created in its presence.
Custard Cinnamon Swirl Bread (Grandma’s Good Bread)
What makes this cinnamon swirl bread different than all the rest is the addition of the custard. It is simply delicious and makes the bread so rich and creamy. Finding it can sometimes be difficult but I found it at two of three of our “bigger” grocers.
Tricia @ onceamonthmeals.com
- 6 cups all purpose flour
- 2 packages dry active yeast
- 3 ounces packaged egg custard mix (I used Jell-O)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 0.5 cup warm water
- 1 cup milk
- 0.25 cup butter or margarine (#1)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, softened (#2)
- 0.5 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 gallon freezer bags
- plastic wrap
- 2 each foil bread loaf pan
- 0.5 cups raisins (optional)
In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups flour, custard mix, and salt. Mix well. In a saucepan heat water, milk, and butter #1 until warm (120-130 degrees). Butter does not need to melt. Add yeast to the warmed liquid, stirring to dissolve. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture. Add eggs. Blend at low speed until moistened. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. (I used my KitchenAid mixer for this but used the bread hook attachment. The dough should not be sticky when you are finished adding all of the flour and it should clear the bowl on it’s own.)
If you followed the directions by hand, knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (If you used a mixer you can skip this step. Place in greased bowl, turning dough to grease all over. Cover and let rise in a warm place until light and doubled, about 1 hour. Combine sugar and cinnamon for filling. Punch down dough and divide into 2 (4) parts. On a lightly floured surface, roll each part to a 14×7 inch rectangle. Spread each with softened butter (#2) and sprinkle with the filling (add raisins at this point if you so choose). Starting with shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll with each turn. Pinch edges at end. Place loaves in greased 9×5 loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about another hour. (If you prefer fresh baked bread you can cover this risen dough tightly and freeze at this point. To serve: Thaw and bake according to directions.) If you would like to have a finished product carry on.) Bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes. If desired, brush top of loaves with butter and sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar over the top. Remove from pans and cool.
Follow directions as indicated above. Cover in plastic wrap, place in a gallon freezer bag, and freeze. To serve: Thaw. Warm in oven or microwave if so desired but not necessary. You may also slice and toast the bread as well.
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