One of the glorious things from my childhood was the sunday trip to the bakery where we got to pick our Sunday morning treat. Normally this treat was to be a single item like a rum snail, a croissant, or the like, but just once in a while I managed to sweet-talk (read: emotionally bribe) my parents into buying a cinnamon loaf. For those unfortunate enough that they haven’t come across this wonderful bread before, it is a butter and egg enriched dough that is rolled around a cinnamon-enriched remonce cream (mix of butter and sugar). For quite a few years now, I have had to pass these things by in the bakery, along with most their other treats, since I’ve been ‘fortunate’ enough to pick up lactose intolerance on the course of my life. Furthermore, we have egg allergists in the family as well, so what else was there to do than replace the butter with milk-free shortening and replace the eggs with a mix of water, oil, flour and baking powder? (We have also prepared these loaves with the egg, but there is practically no difference between replacing the egg as well).
The first part is rolling the dough into a fairly thin square, however, I can never, ever, manage a square when rolling dough like that, so it gets to be square-ish. We smear the remonce over this and roll it up nicely.
For those of you who aren’t experienced remonce-smearers, this is what too much remonce looks like (you will see why in a bit).
These three rolls are then used to carefully braid the loaf (in most home-made versions of cinnamon loaves it is just rolled into a single roll, but that does not get the authentic bakery braid).
After some careful braining and a graceful finish at each end of the braid, you get this.
Now it just needs to be placed in a form and proofed until it’s nice and wiggly.
And after being baked for half an hour, this is the oozing goodness that meets the eye (ok, normally it doesn’t ooze quite that much, but we brought it upon ourselves by using a larger portion of remonce).
Or seen in a bit larger perspective.
Now comes the time to turn out the loaves from the forms.
This was also the time I suddenly realised that I was supposed to have greased the forms.
It’s not all bad, though, as it is still great to eat out of the form, but the loaf in the background, above, is collapsed a bit due to this.
Now we only need to add the final touch to complete the masterpiece: icing.
The best part is, you do not have to wait for these loaves to cool, you can eat them warm, oozing and savor their delectable creamy consistency that is punctuated by the sugary cinnamon and the crisp and sweet crust on the top of the loaf.
It’s still as good as I remember it from my childhood.