We’ve had a lot of snow days here in New England this winter. This isn’t really unusual, but somehow every year around this time, I’m newly weary at the weekly occurrence of a school closing. This winter we’ve been fortunate: until today, the superintendent has called off school the night before, so we’ve had the luxury of going to sleep knowing that the alarm clock doesn’t need to be set.
I really didn’t expect us to have a snow day today though. Most of the forecasts say we should get a 3 to 6 inches over the course of the day, which really isn’t noteworthy as far as storms go. So I was startled when my slumber was broken by the relative clamor of the phone ringing in the middle of the night. OK, it was 5:40 am, so I’m being overly dramatic, but it really felt like the middle of the night. And it was a particularly unwelcome sound as my older son is away at college some 200 miles away; my first thought was of him when it rang. Oddly, the robocall was not from our school superintendent but rather the district’s director of operations and finance, which seemed so bizarre and atypical that it left me feeling like I had dreamt the whole thing when I returned to bed.
The upshot of this is that we were able to leisurely enjoy the Cinnamon Spiral Bread that I baked yesterday afternoon with our coffee as the snow began falling.
The recipe is from my seldom used copy of King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking. I have a million little post-its tucked in its pages for recipes I want to try but seldom reach for it for some reason. Maybe it’s because the other (younger) folks in the house love their white flour too much. At any rate, I have whole wheat flour and oats taking up valuable freezer and pantry space so I thought maybe a whole grain baked good which employed copious amounts of sugar might have a greater chance of being eaten. Oh, who am I kidding — I prefer my whole grain baked goods with lots of sugar too.
This recipe uses a preferment, a simple starter prepared the night before mixing the dough, which imparts flavor and increases the shelf life of the bread. You can read more about different types of preferments here.
As promised in the recipe’s introductory notes, the Cinnamon Spiral Bread really does resemble an oversized cinnamon roll, albeit a rather lumpy and bumpy looking one, thanks to the whole oats. It’s fairly dense but moist, and is only slightly sweet in spite of the honey in the dough, the different sugary coatings the dough is rolled in and topped with, and the icing. We’ll see if my white flour lover will sample a piece if he ever rises from his self-indulgent snow day snoozefest.
[Whoops! When I originally posted, I mistakenly referred to this as Cinnamon Swirl Bread. The correct name is Cinnamon Spiral Bread, as I’ve updated.]