Further to the announcement of my new Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer, I’ve been considering everyone’s thoughts on what to name her (thanks to all for the ideas) and I’ve chosen the name Beatrix – kindly suggested by Scotty’s dad. I like Beatrix for a few reasons: 1. It reminds me of Beatrix Potter, 2. It means ‘Bringer of Joy’, 3. It beats… and will be called Beatrix! (nuff said).
Once I’d settled on the name, the most important decision was to come… what to make with it first! I knew I wanted to make something sweet and bread-y. This led me to cinnamon scrolls, which led me to devising my own cinnamon and pecan filling, which led me to scrapping the scrolls idea altogether and instead settling on making one giant braided cinnamon and pecan bread – such fun.
It took a little while to come up with the recipe for the filling but after some consideration, I opted for a butter, cinnamon, pecan, brown sugar and hazelnut meal mixture, and it was wonderful. There is no place for regular cinnamon buns in this household.
Making the braided bread is actually much simpler than you might think. Once you have made the bread dough, you roll it into a large rectangle, spread the filling on top, roll it, slice it down the centre, plait it and roll the plait around itself … ok, it sounds complicated when you read it, but just look at the how to photos in the recipe below and you get the idea. It is a simple way to achieve an impressive result.
In other news… I’m writing this from Adelaide as I’m in town to attend the annual EatDrinkBlog food bloggers conference which starts tomorrow morning. Looking forward to meeting more of my fellow Aussie foodies first thing at the Adelaide Central Market!
Braided Cinnamon and Pecan Bread
300ml milk, warmed (to activate yeast)
1 packet dried yeast granules (2 teaspoons)
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly whisked
75g butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
3/4 cup roughly chopped pecans
Combine milk, yeast and sugar in a bowl and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes or until frothy.
Sift flour twice and add salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture and the egg. Mix until well combined then transfer to a clean and floured bench and knead until dough is elastic and pliable.
Put dough back into the bowl, cover with glad wrap and set aside until it has doubled in size (about 40 minutes).
Once it has doubled in size, return to a floured bench and roll out into a large rectangle about 1/2 cm thick. Preheat oven to 180° Celsius.
Mix together butter, sugar, cinnamon and hazelnuts in a mixer till it comes together into a crumbly paste. Take this filling and sprinkle it liberally over the rectangular dough covering the surface. Next, sprinkle the chopped pecans over the filling.
Starting with the long side of the dough, roll carefully until a log is formed. Slice the log down the centre and roll open each side so that the filling is facing the top. You will now have two long piece of dough and should be able to see the filling inside (see images above). Join the two pieces at the top and fold each side back over the other till you have plaited both pieces together.
Take a non-stick 22cm spring form pan and remove the base. Take one end of the plait and place it in the middle of the base. Roll the plait around itself until it has filled the base tucking the end under. Then lock in the sides of the spring form pan. Set aside for 20 minutes to rise again.
Place in the oven and bake for 40 – 50 minutes until bread is golden (and the scents of cinnamon and pecan have invaded your home). Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing and serving.
NOTE: Let’s face it, bread tastes the best the day it is made. If you find yourself with leftover bread, how about turning it into a bread and butter pudding – with all the gorgeous cinnamon and pecan flavour, you dont need to add much to the custard to make a wonderful pudding.
Love the name Beatrix! And what a great recipe to christen your new mixer with. The bread is gorgeous and I love how you braided it. Now I'm looking forward to that bread pudding recipe 🙂
PS: Have fun at the food blogger conference!
That is beautiful!! And I love the name Beatrix 🙂
Beatrix is also the queen of the Netherlands. Good choice! If only your Mixer was orange (national color of NL). Love your recipe, I will try this very soon!
This looks delicious! Is it possible to do any of these steps the day/night before?
WOW! I am Immmm-pressed! I wish I had the baking bug and talent because it is such an art. I love your rustic photographs and the name Beatrix too, very appropriate! Mesmerizing!! A+!
I know this is delicious and it's very beautiful!
Omg Amanda!! How have I not known about your blog earlier all your photos and recipes are AMAZING, are you kidding me?! Good stufffff and yay again for winning that KitchenAid tonight, you rock! =)
Oh my goodness. I can't even think of anything sensible to say right now except YUM!!! That looks absolutely delicious!!! I'm definitely trying this one out!
Oooh very nice braid work! This would have been awesome with a coffee.
what a cool way to roll the dough..
Beatrix is a great name! And this recipes is pretty darn nice, too. Love the flavors, and I've had several pounds of pecans stashed in the freezer for quite awhile now. Maybe time to liberate some of them into a tasty bread? Good stuff – thanks.
Perfect choice with Beatrix – it didn't even occur to me to break it down to "beat" haha! I love the braid on the bread. I think I would have been too scared to even try that but it looks absolutely gorgeous!! I am super impressed!
Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy says
Love the name! and this bread! Mmm carbs – this would go perfectly with my coffee right now. So good to meet you lovely!!
Phuoc'n Delicious says
HAHA I named mine too; Bella Rossa 🙂 This braided bread looks mighty amazing!
Just realised I pinned this as soon as I saw it but neglected to leave a comment – naughty! Great to meet you at the conference on the weekend and I can't wait to give this bread a crack! 🙂
Thanks Connie! The conference was lots of fun – its always great spending time with like-minded people.
Thanks so much. The name grows on me more and more each time I say it!
Hi Rachel, I'm not sure. I've just done some reading on it, and I would suggest making it all the day before and then par baking it for 10-15 minutes. Then you could finish off the baking the next day just before you are ready to eat it.
Hi Monique, I didn't know Beatrix is the queen of the Netherlands! Let me know how it turns out for you if you do make it.
The baking bug has really only come to me recently. It's absolutely about trial and error! Thanks as always for the lovely words. 🙂
Winston!!! You are far too kind. Thanks for coming and having a look. I'm loving what you've got going on over at http://www.thehungryexcavator.com/. Adding you to my feeds and looking forward to catching up when I'm in Melbourne next!
Haha Thanks Claire! It was so great with coffee and tea. I may even make a glaze to go over it next time.
Thanks John. Haven't tried brading before so I'm delighted you think its ok! I can safely say it was brilliant with coffee.
Thanks. By the way… loving your Macadamia Nut Caramel Cookies! Yum.
Absolutely! I don't often use pecans, but they worked so well in this. I'm definitely going to use them more.
I've decided to bite the bullet on a lot of things that used to make me nervous about cooking. I've realised that the worst thing that can happen is that it doesn't work and I make it again! Luckily in this instance, it worked first time!
Haha – you are so right about carbs. I made a rolled pizza the recipe after this one that I am going to post soon… I'm such a slave to carbe. It was so great meeting you too and I look forward to a catch up soon.
I love that name Phouc! Was great meeting you on the weekend 🙂
Haha. I love that you pinned it! Thank you. I really enjoyed meeting you at the conference too!
He he I can relate, I named my DSLR Gordon. Was so amazing to meet you on the weekend in Adelaide. You are such a talented person and soooo deserved the photography prize! xxxxxxxxxxxx
Gorgeous braided bread and stunning pictures! Was fantastic meeting you on the weekend and looking forward to catching up again soon 🙂
aa matter of taste says
Looks fantastic! I'll try to bake it this weekend. YUM!
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Photography on this looks amazing. You know I love anything bready (the Italian's curse) so I think I might try this. Looks a little like a Christmas wreath so perfect timing!
Hi, great photos, that's the first what caught my attention! I thought I can veganize this easily (soy milk, vegan margarine, egg replacement). Have just put the whole thing in the oven.. so far looks great and smells even better. It's quite similar to my cinnamon rolls.. love the different shape though. I am wondering only about one thing – I had to add almost another full cup of bread flour to be able to work with the dough, 2 cups were far away not enough to match the 300ml of milk. May I just ask how was your dough after mixing 2 cups of flour and the 300ml of milk? Mine just too wet to handle, after adding extra flour the dough raise really nicely within half an hour and once braided, 10mins and doubled in size. Well see how the texture gets once ready. Thanks for sharing with so great site!
ok just a follow up. The bread baked nicely in about 45 mins but I have to admit it tasted a little too bread like, heavy, especially the side & top layer. Could be cause of the extra flour I had to add to work with it,s who knows. But tasted good anyway. Thx for the recipe.