Yes, you read that right.
I took my grandma’s absolutely spectacular Sheepherder Bread – and I added a little cinnamon twist.
And I created heaven in a slice of bread. (I can say it, because it’s true.)
Now, it wasn’t all fun and games to get there, but boy, oh boy, was it worth it.
Grandma Nola’s World Famous Sheepherder Bread, Cinnamon Roll Style, adapted from my Grandma
(Makes 3 loaves)
3 c very hot water
1/2 c butter
1/2 c sugar
2 1/2 t salt
2 packages active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 t)
approx. 9 1/2 c bread flour, unsifted
salad oil or cooking spray
4 T butter, softened
2 T sugar
1-2 T cinnamon (to taste)
In a large bowl, combine water, butter, sugar, and salt. Stir until the butter melts and let cool to warm. Stir in yeast, cover, and set in a warm place until bubbly, about 15 minutes.
Add 5 cups of flour and beat with a heavy-duty mixer or a wooden spoon to make a thick batter. With a spoon, stir in enough flour, about 3 1/2 cups, to make a thick dough. Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Turn dough over in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch dough down, divide into thirds, and knead each third on a floured board to form smooth balls.
*For Cinnamon Roll style: Roll out dough into rectangle – you may have to gently pull on the dough to get it to a decent size. Spread butter on top of dough. Sprinkle liberally with sugar and cinnamon. Roll into loaf shape, pinching ends together.*
Place each into a loaf pan and let rise in a warm place for about 1/2 hour.
Cook at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool and enjoy slightly warm!
So, let’s just say this recipe did not start out so well. I was skimming again (BAD Courtney!), and I started out by putting the yeast in the bowl, adding the very hot water, butter, sugar and salt. Now if you look in the directions, you add the yeast last – probably because the butter cools the water down a bit when it melts. If you do it in the order I did, the very hot water does something very interesting, it kills the yeast. Completely dead.
(Now, I probably should’ve taken a picture of the mixture with dead yeast to show you what it looks like, but I was too angry at myself and just tossed it down the drain. But really, if your yeast doesn’t get bubbly at all – just stop what you’re doing and start over. Otherwise you’re just wasting your other ingredients.)
Thankfully, I recognized that something was not right, and googled to find out my yeast was dead. So I scrapped it and started on round two. And this round went much better.
The yeast got frothy right away, and I could tell it worked really well after the first rise…
Shaping/pulling the dough into a rectangle was a little tricky, but I got the job done. After slathering it with butter and adding the sugar and cinnamon, I rolled it right up into a loaf.
After the second rise and the baking (note – be sure to put a cookie sheet under the loaf, in case it, umm, overflows the pan and drips a bit), it came out looking like this:
Seriously, this is one of the best bread recipes ever – with or without the swirl. (Notice the bold and italics – that’s how much I mean it.)
I really hope you go out and make a loaf (or three).