A few weeks ago, I got a sudden craving for cinnamon raisin bread. Something about the cool, rainy weather we've been having made me long for that sweet, cinnamon-y swirled bread.
The more I thought about it, the more certain I was that if I was going to bake anything in October, it had to contain pumpkin. When I started to imagine a cinnamon and brown sugar swirl winding its way through a loaf of pumpkin bread, I was sold. I dropped everything and started my dough right away.
If you've ever made yeast dough cinnamon rolls, you'll find the process of making this pumpkin swirl bread very familiar. In fact, it's slightly easier because you get to skip that tedious step of cutting up the individual rolls. Just roll your stuffed dough into a log, tuck the ends, and snuggle it into a loaf pan for rising and baking. I was just about to roll up my cinnamon and brown sugar stuffed bread when it hit me - wouldn't chocolate make this bread even better? Of course it would. I had the perfect chocolate in mind too - Divine's 70% Dark Chocolate with Ginger & Orange bar.
The good news is that the smell of this bread baking will make your house smell amazing. The bad news is that the smell of this bread baking is completely intoxicating, and you may find yourself unable to do anything but walk around your kitchen exclaiming, "It smells so good in here!"
And the taste? Wow. It’s almost like a pumpkin cinnamon bun, but the chocolate takes it to a whole other level. The orange in the chocolate is a great compliment for the pumpkin, and the spicy bits of ginger are a pleasant surprise. If I didn't know any better, I would think Divine made their 70% Dark Chocolate with Ginger & Orange bar just for this bread!
This bread will make fantastically indulgent toast for a fall weekend breakfast, and I have plans to turn it into some decadent French toast as well. That is, if I don’t eat it all first!
Next time (and there will be a next time), I think I will try drizzling some melted chocolate over the top too. More chocolate never hurt anything, right?
Pumpkin Cinnamon & Chocolate Swirl Bread
Adapted from Cooking Classy, Makes one 9x5 loaf.
2 1/4 teaspoons (one 1/4 oz. packet) instant dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110-115°F)
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk, warmed (110-115°F)
2 Tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
dash ground cloves & allspice
1 large egg
1 cup canned plain pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1-2 Tablespoons raw sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
2-3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (Divine's 70% Dark Chocolate with Ginger & Orange bar), chopped
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together warm water, yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Using the dough hook attachment, with the mixer on low, mix in warm milk, molasses, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, salt, softened butter and spices. Add egg and pumpkin puree, mix until combined. With the mixer still on low, add the flour 1/4 cup at a time until all flour is added and combined. Knead with the dough hook until dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled large bowl. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (Tip: If your house is cool, turn your oven on to the lowest temperature for about 30 seconds, then turn OFF. Set dough in OFF oven to rise.)
Butter a 9x5-inch non-stick loaf pan. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar and cinnamon.
Punch down risen dough. Turn out onto a floured surface. Sprinkle flour on dough as needed to reduce stickiness. Roll dough out into a roughly 10 x 22 inch rectangle. Spread melted butter over dough. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over dough and spread evenly to edges. Spread chopped chocolate evenly over dough. Starting with the short side, roll dough into a tight roll. Pinch seam closed, turn dough so the seam is on the bottom, then tuck the ends under to seal bread and place it in prepared loaf pan. Let rise in a warm place until approximately doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter over the top of the loaf, then sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake at 375°F for 45-50 minutes. Check loaf halfway through and tent with foil if it's getting overly browned. Cool in pan 5-10 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool completely - at least 2 hours - before slicing.
Use or freeze within 2 days.