Category Archives: Writing fiction

Easter Cinnamon Bread Recipe

Another Easter and Christmas tradition in my family was making my great-grandmother’s cinnamon bread while listening to The Messiah. Making the bread is a five-hour marathon, but oh, so worth it for the yeasty smells of baking and the wonderful cinnamon taste on Easter morning. My sister called me from the grocery store in Boston this morning, having gotten insanely ambitious, wanting to know the ingredients list.  So here’s the recipe (with apologies for the vague instructions — that’s how it came down to me):

Great Grandmother’s Cinnamon Bread

Makes two loaves, more or less.  Bake in 350 oven.

1 cup of milk

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 envelope dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

4-5 cups of white flour

Lots of cinnamon and sugar, mixed together until it’s fairly dark with cinnamon

Scald the milk in a saucepan, then add the butter, sugar, and salt while the milk cools. When milk is warm, but no longer hot, beat in the eggs.  Dissolve the yeast in the water and add to the milk mixture. When milk mixture starts to bubble, add flour. Keep adding until the batter thickens and starts to crawl up the beater, like this:

It should still be a sticky batter, not a thick dough.Cover the mixing bowl with a damp towel and let rise until the dough has doubled in size, like this:

Punch down the dough. It should look like this:

Let the dough rise again until doubled, then punch down again.

Put the cinnamon and sugar mixture into a pie pan or bowl. Scoop up a handful of batter and use your fingertips to flatten the batter into a little pancake in the cinnamon mixture, getting it well coated with cinnamon sugar on both sides:

Twist the dough into a rope:

then put into a well buttered or no-stick bread pan.

Here’s what the loaves look like when they’re ready for their final rise:

Cover with a damp cloth and let rise one more time, then bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. The tops should be browned and the bottom of the pan should give a slightly hollow sound when tapped.

Remove loaves from bread pan immediately and cool before wrapping in aluminum foil. But don’t forget to eat some while it’s hot!

I’ve made myself hungry writing down this recipe, so it’s off to the kitchen to bake some cinnamon bread.

Great Moments in the Annals of Romance Novel Plotting

What would you do if you were a rich, handsome tycoon who gets hit by a car while walking across the street and receives a visit in the hospital from the mousy secretary you think  was driving the car that hit you (who wasn’t really the driver, but pretends she is to protect her brother-in-law, who WAS driving?)

Would you insist that she let you move into her tiny apartment so she can spend the next month taking care of you?  Of course you would!  And would you then decide the next day to abandon all your usual tycoonery to force her to take you on a driving tour of the country inns of Scotland? Naturally!  Wouldn’t any rich, handsome tycoon do the same?

I can’t tell you how this book turns out in the end because it’s lost somewhere in the bowels of my minivan, but I do have to admire the author’s ingenuity.

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