Mix it Knead it Rise it Swirl it Bake it Toast it Eat it! Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Buttery goodness swirled with a fresh-ground sweet cinnamon filling! Just the thing for a special homemade breakfast treat made with love from scratch!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread slices on polished maple by bake this breadWe’ve been playing with a 100-year-old recipe for German Coffee Cake and, because it was made with yeast, we just had to mess with the recipe until it became a lovely breakfast bread!

Toasted homemade cinnamon swirl toast by bake this bread

Wake up to cinnamon! Because cinnamon is a starring attraction in this lovely little breakfast bread, I’m thinking its nice to punch up that flavor by pulverizing some nice Vietnamese cinnamon bark chips to a fine powder with a blast in a mini grinder and a good mortar and pestle. Surprisingly, this only takes a few minutes. This is absolutely not necessary. Just that, since we’re makin’ this thing from scratch, I thought we may as well ante it up for an amazing hit of cinnamon. And it makes the kitchen, no, the whole dang house, smell heavenly! It starts with a grinder/blender device to pulverize the cinnamon bark chips.

Cinnamon bark chips to grind into cinnamon powder in a bullet by bake this bread

And then you just use a heavy unglazed mortar and pestle (with a nice little weight to it) to turn the ground chips into a wonderfully fine powder. Can you smell the aroma yet?

Using a mortar and pestle to grind cinnamon for homemade cinnamon bread by bake this bread

Sister site with a cousin cake: You may also enjoy our cake post on how to create a simple yeasted German Coffee Cake. Like, when’s the last time you made a cake (well, a breakfast cake) with yeast instead of baking powder or the like? ha! Check out our little homegrown video.

SLOW FOOD WARNING! Actual prep time takes about 12 minutes once you have your ingredients assembled and then it will be 2 one-hour rises, though it may take longer, even an extra hour longer, depending on your yeast and flour and “growing environment”. I know you’re busy so be sure to set aside plenty of time on your first adventure to let your dough rise up and shine. Remember, flour and water and active yeast will rise given enough time, so if it doesn’t rise as fast as you’d expect, give it more time to grow — it will.

Close up of Cinnamon Swirl Dough fully risen in baking pan by bake this bread

Make it a double-double!  You may even want to make 2 loaves — one for you and your peeps and one for a kitchen giving gift made with love. This is my girlfriend’s stereoscope. Like who has a stereoscope card with a springer spaniel wearing a bonnet? (I guess it helps if you own the awesome Sherman Oaks Antique Mall.) If you do decide to double this recipe, I recommend preparing each batch of dough separately. You know, that ole’ divide and conquer theory.

Steroscopic viewer with spaniel in a bonnet Sherman Oaks Antiques photo by Leslie Macchiarella

What are your favorite bread baking gadgets? I get so many questions about my favorite baking tools and supplies. Like the cherry pitter for our homemade maraschino cherries — that is a lifesaver! So these are my current favorite bread making tools. None of them are necessary, which is why I didn’t include them in the list of required tools for this recipe (though I hope you have, or can get your hands on, the last one). And I hope you can share your favorite bread making tools with us in the Comments.

Level it up! This is how I level cups of loosely measured flour or sugar. A plastic straw (or a chop stick) works perfectly as a great leveling tool.

Measuring fluffy bread flour for cinnamon bread using a plastic straw by bake this bread

Super sharp and small! Although I’m hooked on the absolute quality and longevity of Cutco knives, they’re expensive and there are lots of interesting and inventive knives on the market today. Here’s my butter measuring tool. Ho! (It’s also my strawberry cutting knife and my broccoli cutter). 🙂 These inexpensive knives are super sharp and come with a case for inserting the knife blade. I think the knife gets sharpened each time you put it back into its case. And I like the variety of bright colors.

butter measured for homemade yeasted cinnamon bread by bake this bread

Safe and stable does it! Okay, here’s a great tool that I never knew I needed until I tried it. My nephew gave it to me for Christmas (thank you, John!). It’s a silicone bowl rim that holds different sized bowls absolutely stable on the countertop. It keeps me from chasing a large bowl around the counter. Although it could be my imagination, I swear that once your bowl is firmly rooted to the counter, you feel more confident about the whole shebang.

red silicone bowl steady tool to hold bowl firmly on the counter by bake this bread

Long, sharp and serrated! A proper bread knife doesn’t have to be expensive to work well. The goal is to cut through the bread without ripping or tearing it — so a sharp and serrated knife is important and it must be long enough to completely cover the width of the bread (and then some) so that you can achieve an uninterrupted sawing motion.

Slicing cinnamon swirl bread overhead by bake this bread

Quick draw, fast read! My indispensable bread baking tool is a quick-read, flip-open baking thermometer. Just flip it open, poke and read it. I don’t usually use it to check the temperature of the dough at the end of kneading (though I know many who do) but I thought I’d show you how it works with the photo below. However, the temperature of the final baked bread turns out to be quite important because a baked loaf of bread can be dangerously deceptive. In fact, I don’t even know how to ensure a properly baked bread without such a tool. I have a collection of different baking thermometers but their probes are usually quite thick (and mar the beauty of the bread or cake). And most are way too slow to be effective. I wish this one had a lighted display to see the temperature in a dark oven, but it’s small, handy, fast and inexpensive. I haven’t figured out how to rely on a laser-type device yet so if you have a great one to recommend, do share in the Comments.

Internal temperature of fully kneaded dough is 84 degrees by bakethisbread

Look how many times I had to test this cinnamon swirl bread in 5 minute increments past 30 minutes to get the internal temperature to 185! ha! Can you see the probe marks? You can see that I like to check for doneness on the side inserted towards the center so the top of the bread is not spoiled with holes.

Recipe testing for internal temperature of cinnamon swirl bread by bake this bread

Summary of the steps to making a fabulous cinnamon swirl bread:

We’ll start (that’s me and you) by greasing the bottom of the pan, proofing the yeast and chopping some raisins and nuts. Then we’ll mix all ingredients in a big bowl except the raisins and nuts and stir until the flour is mostly incorporated then we’ll fold in the raisins and nuts by hand with a 30-second finger kneading. We’ll set the timer for 8 minutes and give the dough a firm kneading on the countertop, place it in a clean, buttered bowl, cover it with a towel and let it rise for an hour. Then we’ll roll it out (or press it out ’cause it’s really soft and easy to spread), smear it with butter, cinnamon and sugar, roll it up, place it in the baking pan and let it rise for another hour or more until the dough reaches the top of the pan. Next we’ll pre-heat the oven and bake it for about 40 to 50 minutes (maybe tenting it to keep the crust from getting too dark). When it’s hot from the oven, we’ll spread a little butter on top to protect the crust and remove it immediately from the pan to let it cool uncovered for about 15 minutes before slicing with a sharp serrated knife. Then we’ll toast it, butter it and serve that puppy up. Oh yeah!

Close up slice of homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread by bake this bread

Tools for Homemade Cinnamon Breakfast Bread:

9″ bread pan
1 large bowl for mixing all ingredients
1 small bowl or cup (for mixing yeast)
Large flat-blade knife (for chopping raisins and nuts to a smaller size)
Danish bread whisk or wooden spoon (for initial mixing of dough)
Cooking spray or unsalted butter (for smearing the bottom-only of the bread pan)
Measuring cups and spoons
Timer (your smart phone works well, for timing the kneading and baking)
Your hands and a little muscle power (for kneading the dough for 8 minutes)
Rolling pin (or bottom of a cookie pan or cake pan to flatten the soft dough)
Pastry brush (for spreading soft butter on rolled dough and to soften top crust after baking)
Dough scraper tool (to help roll up the swirled dough)
Aluminum foil or parchment paper tent (to loosely cover baking bread after 30 minutes if needed to prevent crust from over darkening)
Optional but highly recommended: Temperature tool
Optional but highly recommended: Long, sharp, serrated knife (aka bread knife) for a perfect slice

Holding a hot slice of homemade cinnamon swirl bread by bake this bread

Ingredients for Homemade Cinnamon Breakfast Bread:
1/3 cup warm milk (2% is fine)
1 Tablespoon rapid rise dry yeast
3 cups bread flour (I used unbleached, substitute all-purpose flour)
5 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons fine quality fine quality cinnamon (or finely ground cinnamon chip bark using a mortar and pestle)
6 Tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter (about 1/3 cup or about 2/3 of a cube)
1/3 cup warm water
1 cup chopped raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
2 teaspoons unsalted butter (to spread on top of hot bread crust after baking)

Cinnamon Swirl Filing:
3 Tablespoons softened unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons cinnamon
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

Gathering ingredients for homemade cinnamon bread by bake this bread

Directions for Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread:
Okay, let’s bake this bread, shall we? It’s going to be an awesome kitchen DIY project! And I do hope you’ll share your baking experience with us…like how long it took for your bread to rise to the top of the pan so we can get a feel for how that’s working.

I’m going to show you each simple step to:


Prep the pan!
Use unsalted butter or cooking spray to grease the bottom-only of a 9″ bread pan.
Pan Prep Tip: You can rub the end of a butter cube on the bottom of the pan or use a pastry brush or paper towel to spread it, or just spray the bottom with cooking spray.

Dissolve the yeast!
In a small bowl or cup, mix until incorporated (and check for a little bubbling action):
1/3 cup warm milk (we used 2%)
1 Tablespoon dry rapid rise yeast
Yeast Proofing Tip: If you’re sure of your yeast, then no need for this advance “proofing” step and you can just add the warm milk and yeast right into the main ingredients bowl (that’s what I do).

Preparing yeast for homemade cinnamon bread recipe by bake this breadPrep the raisins and nuts!
Using a large, sharp flat-blade knife, chop to a somewhat fine chop:
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup nuts (I used pecans)

Raisins and Pecans for homemade yeasted cinnamon bread recipe by bake this bread

Chop Tip: Chopping the raisins and nuts makes the best texture for this bread and ensures that they spread better throughout the dough.  No need to be precise; a rough chop works fine.

Chopped raisins and pecans for homemade cinnamon bread recipe by bake this bread

Mix it!
In a large mixing bowl, use a Danish bread whisk or a wooden spoon to thoroughly incorporate:
3 cups bread flour
5 Tablespoons granulated sugar (3 Tablespoons for a less sweet bread)
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (6 Tablespoons) room temperature unsalted butter

Big blue bowl of yeasted cinnamon bread ingredients by bake this bread

Mix Tip: Using a heavy whisk or wooden spoon for the first stir alows the flour to coat the wet ingredients to prevent super stickiness on your hands and countertop.

Initial mixing of cinnamon bread dough with danish bread whisk by bake this bread

Add in the chopped raisins and nuts on top of the dough and work them into the dough using the tips of your fingers (aka finger kneading) for about 30 seconds until this initial dough is thoroughly blended with:
the prepared raisins
the prepared nuts

Nuts and Raisins: This photo seems to show just raisins being added but add the nuts at the same time.

Hand mixing raisins into yeast cinnamon dough recipe by bakethisbread

The dough will look like this after you’ve worked the raisins and nuts into the dough at this initial stage.

Dough before kneading for homemade yeast cinnamon bread recipe by bake this bread

Knead it!
Using your fastidiously clean hands and a squeaky clean countertop, set your oven timer or smart phone timer to 8 minutes and knead the dough on the counter for 8 minutes until it is fairly smooth.

Kneading Tip: If your dough feels super sticky you may knead it first in your hands by just smooshing it then pulling and twisting until it becomes less sticky and then completing the kneading with the heel of your hands on the countertop at the point when it doesn’t stick to the counter. If the dough is super-super sticky you can dust it with a little extra flour.
Another Kneading Tip: Use the heel of your hand to firmly press the dough on the countertop then fold the dough over itself and repeat with firm pressure (like, get your hidden aggression out).
Super Special Bread Dough Tip: When the dough is completely kneaded, cup your hands around the sides of the dough and drag it on the counter towards you a couple of times to tighten the dough into a soft ball. The dough ball will spin slightly and the globe shape will tighten up so that it will have a better rise.

before first rise of homemade cinnamon dough recipe by bake this bread

Rise it!
Place the round dough ball in a bowl and cover it with a clean towel to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.
Warm Rising Spot Tip: I like to use the oven with no heat and just a light bulb lit inside the oven to make a nice, warm environment. Second choice is on top of the refrigerator away from pets and away from a cool breeze.

Overhead shot of cinnamon bread dough after first rise by bake this bread

Swirl it!
Roll the soft dough gently on the counter into the a rectangle shape with the width about as long as the bread pan you’ll be using and the length a little longer by about one-third.

Tip: This is a buttery dough so it will spread and shape quite easily. If you don’t have a rolling-pin handy, you can use the bottom of a cookie pan to flatten the dough and then use your hands to form a rectangle shape.

Using a rolling pin to roll cinnamon bread swirl by bake this cake

Prepare the swirl by using a pastry brush to cover the dough with:
3 Tablespoons softened unsalted butter

Sprinkle it with:
3 Tablespoons cinnamon

Sprinkle it with:
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

Roll-out shape: Just a fat rectangle will do it. My roll-out shape is about 9″ wide x 15″ tall.

Spreading butter cinnamon and sugar on cinnamon bread dough by bake this bread

Use a bench scraper (or a knife) if needed to start a roll going and gently roll ‘er up. Pinch the closing seam lightly with your fingers and keep the seam side down.

creating diy swirl with dough by bake this bread

Rise it (again)!
Make sure the roll of dough is about the proper size for your baking pan. You may have to slightly adjust the shape at this point.

Smooth-ish Dough Tip: It is important the final dough as smooth as possible, especially the top portions, to help it rise higher.

Gently place the rolled dough in the center of a prepared baking pan.

The dough roll should almost touch or actually touch the ends of the pans but it need not touch the sides of the pan because it will grow.

Pinch the ends closed and then tuck them under at the ends of the pan.

Swirled cinnamon bread dough in the pan for second rise by bake this bread

Let it rise uncovered for the second rise for at least 1 hour or until the dough has risen to the top edge of the bread pan, spraying it or sprinkling it with a little water a couple of times during this second rising session. It will look like this when the dough has fully risen to the height of the baking pan. It may take an extra hour or so to rise to the height of the pan so please be patient with your dough while it grows.

Rising Tip: Be sure to let it rise right to the top of the bread pan because when it bakes it won’t rise much more.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread Dough Fully Risen and ready to bake by bake this bread

Bake it!
Bake it on the center rack at 350 degrees for about 40 to 50 minutes, though your time may vary, so I suggest checking on it after 30 minutes until the internal temperature is about 185 degrees.

Crust Color Tip: This bread tends get quite dark on top so I suggest tenting the top of the baking bread with aluminum foil or parchment paper after 30 minutes to keep it from getting super dark on top.

When it is fully baked and hot from the oven, lightly baste the top of the dough with a gentle spread of unsalted butter (about 2 teaspoons) and then slide it out from the pan to cool on a rack to prevent moisture build up.

Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing to ensure a perfect cut.

Store the bread in a paper bag or just covered in cloth for the first few hours. Thereafter, place the loaf in a plastic storage bag (I like green vegetable bags from the market for this purpose). If you intend to hold it for longer than 3 days, refrigerate it to help keep it longer (perhaps as long as 7 days refrigerated if you will be toasting it for serving).

Cinnamon Swirl Bread baked and buttered on top by bake this bread

Toast it!

The flavor of the cinnamon really comes out when this bread is toasted. Honey butter is fun to serve on this toast, oh yum!

Toasted Homade Cinnamon Swirl Toast with Honey Butter by bake this bread

Eat it!
Serve it with great morning coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice and the like and you’ve got some morning paradise on your hands. You may even attract a crowd with the aromas you’ll be creating in your kitchen.

Homemade cinnamon bread toast with fried egg by bake his bread

Congratulations! You did this thing. And I know how you’re gonna feel when you sink your smile into your homemade awesomeness! Like this…

Happy Face of a handsome young LA guy photo by Leslie Macchiarella

Thank you for joining me on this homemade bread baking adventure! I do hope you’re with us on bakethiscake.com (we’ve got charming and historic cakes for you to bake) and Instagram for day to day adventures.



Leslie Macchiarella

Downtown LA DTLA Collage Wells Fargo Bldg Perhsing by Leslie Macchiarella
Strolling Downtown LA

You may also enjoy reading:

Grandma Bessie’s Savory Cheese Crackers (bakethisbread.com)

Easy Yeasted German Coffee Cake (bakethiscake.com)

Dark Bananas Banana Bread (bakethisbread.com)

Betty’s Old-fashioned Banana Layer Cake (bakethiscake.com)



Grandma Bessie’s Simple and Savory Cheese Puffs Recipe Styled-up for Party Time!

Rich and buttery and way-cheesy with a snappy little crunch, this delightful all-American retro cheese puff makes a come-back as a charming little crisp. Punched up just a tad with a bright and savory kick, you can forget the dip ’cause these classic darlings are flavorful enough to go it solo at your next wine and cocktails event. They also look cute saddled right up alongside a nice homemade bowl of soup. And, did I say simple to make with endless variations? Indeed!

Basket of homemade vintage cheese puff crackers bake this bread recipe
Rich and buttery and way-cheesy with a snappy little crunch, this delightful all-American retro cheese puff makes a come-back as a charming little crisp. Punched up just a tad with a bright and savory kick, you can forget the dip ’cause these classic darlings are flavorful enough to go it solo at your next wine and cocktails event. They also look cute saddled right up alongside a nice homemade bowl of soup. And, did I say simple to make with endless variations? Indeed!

Wine and Cheese Puffs Party Bake This BreadThe perfect homemade nosh! Retro cheese balls, vintage cheese puffs, old-fashioned cheese straws. They all have one thing in common. Well, two things, actually. Cheese and butter. Lots of both. In fact, there’s hardly much else in this recipe. Close cousin to Fannie Farmer’s turn-of-the-Century cheese straws (made with puff pastry), this little darlin’ is a little more country and a lot less fussy.

Vintage Carved Toothpicks photo by Leslie Macchiarella
Vintage Toothpicks

The basis of this recipe comes from my dear Grandma Bess’s own recipe card collection, although I see just about the same simple recipe over scads of decades. It is the simplest of recipes –using just cheese (a pound of it, which is a big block), butter (a lot of it) and a little flour. I added a touch of fresh parsley and some kick-up spices that you won’t actually taste as spicy but they add a little zest. We tried adding bunches of other things, like baking powder and other leaveners to puff it up but the goodness seems to be in the baked cheese and the little snap of crunch. Try the recipe with and without baking powder and test it for yourself.

Easy peazy cheesy crackers for your next hor’s d’oeuvre event comin up!

Grandma Geary's cheese puffs recipe collection bake this bread
Grandma Geary’s cheese puffs recipe collection

Tools Needed for Homemade Vintage Cheese Puffs Crackers (just a few):
Baking Spray to coat the baking pans
1 or 2 sheet pans or cookie pans or pizza pans (depending on what you have handy and how many you wish to bake at one time)
Large Mixing Bowl
Wooden spoon
Your hands for rolling, or a rolling-pin and knife for easy roll and cut
Optional: Counter space with a dusting of flour (if you use the rolling and cutting tip)

Homemade cheese puffs recipe baking on a pizza pan Bake This Bread

Ingredients for Homemade Vintage Cheese Puffs Crackers Recipe:
1 pound (about 4 cups) of grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup (2 cubes) softened unsalted butter
2 Tablespoon fresh parsley, fine chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
optional (but I can’t tell the difference with it): 2 teaspoons baking powder (for very slightly puffier cheese puffs)
1/8 teaspoon paprika, fine quality
1/8 teaspoon dried mustard powder, fine ground
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh super-fine lemon zest if using a micro zester, otherwise, super-fine chopping is required – or it will taste too lemony

Okay, let’s rock ‘n roll vintage style!

Step 1: Grate a whole bunch of extra sharp cheddar cheese:

Grate and set aside
1 pound (about 4 cups) of sharp cheddar cheese

1 pound Grated Cheese for Cheese Crackers recipe Bake This Bread

2. Warm butter to soft (but not melted):

Bring to room temperature and set aside:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup butter for Cheese Puff Crackers recipe Bake This Bread
3. Chop some fresh parsley:

Chop a handful of parsley in order to achieve:
2 Tablespoons fine-chopped Italian parsley

Chopped Parsley for Cheese Puff Crackers recipe Bake This Bread

4. Measure and mix your dry ingredients:

In a large bowl, stir with a whisk:
2 cups all-purpose flour
optional: 2 teaspoons baking powder (for very slightly puffier cheese puffs, although I tried with and without and could not see the difference)
1/8 teaspoon paprika, fine quality
1/8 teaspoon dried mustard powder, fine ground
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
optional: 1/2 teaspoon fresh super-fine lemon zest if using a micro zester, otherwise, super-fine chopping is required – or it will taste too lemony

Flour and Spices for Cheese Puff Crackers Recipe Bake this Bread
5. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon:

Using a wooden spoon, stir until thoroughly combined:
the mixed dry ingredients
the grated cheese
the softened butter

Mixing Cheese Butter and Flour for Vintage Cheese Puffs Crackers Bake This Bread

6. Option Roll and shape:

Golf balls are the starter size and shape if you’re going to make specialty shapes…

Shaping a cheese puff ball recipe bakethisbread

Place your crafted creations a few inches apart on sheet pans sprayed with cooking spray.

Making different cheese puff shapes bake this bread

Option Roll out and Cut (the easy way):

Sprinkle a little flour and roll the dough out about a half an inch thick and shape it with your hands to form a rectangle.

A good shape for the final cookie is about a finger-length long (about 3″) and about a digit wide (about 1″), so shape the rectangle to be about 6 inches wide so that when it’s cut down the middle you will get 3″ long shapes.

Rolling out cheese dough for vintage cheese puff cracker recipe bake this bread

Cut the dough right down the middle if you’ve got dough 2-fingers wide.

Easy Cheese Puff Crackers Dough Tip Bake This Bread

Place the cut shapes onto a sheet pan prepared with cooking spray (this is my pizza pan baker). 🙂

Sliced cheese puff dough ready to bake bake this bread

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes until lightly golden and lightly crisp.

Cool for 5 minutes on the pan before removing to wire rack for cooling, or heck, just straight into the hands of your party guests or to a parchment-lined basket covered with a cloth to hold for serving. You may store these in an air tight plastic container after they are completely cooled.

Round Cheese Balls and Long Cheese Puff Crackers Bake This Bread recipe
Here’s a close look at the disc shaped puffs.

Round Cheese Puff Close Up BakeThisBread
And a close-up look at the long shapes (I like these best)…

Close up of top of vintage cheese puff cracker bake this bread
The underside of each little puff should be basically the same color as the top, not over dark or overly brown.

Golden Bottom of Vintage Cheese Puff Cracker recipe BakeThisBread
I brought a basket of these to the soups and stews gathering with my friends in the Los Angeles Food Bloggers and I came home with none, so hoping that means they liked them. 🙂 You can find all the recipes for all the soups and stews from our awesome members by visiting the Shockingly Delicious blog.

Food Bloggers Los Angeles FBLA Soups Stews Meeting Bake This Bread
Thank you for dropping in to check out this fun little kitchen DIY baking project. Join our cake party on Facebook and hang out on Instagram and Pinterest with me in the evenings and on the week-ends. Happy baking and let me know if you decide to bake this bread. 🙂

Leslie being interviewed at home photo by J Macchiarella


Vintage Black Banana Bread Recipe – One to Keep and One to Gift

Get out your best wooden spoon ’cause this is an old-fashioned black banana bread loaded with flavor and perfect for gift giving!

Vintage Banana Nut Bread Recipe Baked by Bake This BreadI can’t think of anything more loving than a homemade food gift from the kitchen! So I’ve scoured all the history books and checked on Grandma’s recipes and baked up some old-fashioned Black Banana Nut Bread (the black bananas make all the difference!). This is such an easy wooden spoon recipe that anyone (even the kids) can craft a vintage gift of love from your own special kitchen just in time for holiday gift giving.

Sliced Vintage Banana Bread on a white dish BakeThisBread

Wrap it up real perrty and pack it good.

Banana Nut Bread Wrapped for Gift Giving Bake This Bread

Then it’s off to the post office with your homemade gift basket. OR if you’re like me, with kids away at college, you know the mailing ropes…Don’t leave home! Your mail carrier can pick up your shipment free during regular mail delivery if you’re using an expedited service like Priority Mail®, Express Mail®, Global Express Guaranteed®, or Merchandise Return services. whoo hoo!

Package for Mail Pickup Bake This Bread

Yesterday’s Banana Bread versus Today’s Tea Cake Style Bread: Today’s version of banana bread (at least the last 90 years of it) is more of a sweet tea cake than the banana bread of yesteryear (which resembled yeast bread made with dried plaintain flour (though I see banana flour back in the news as a gluten-free flour of the future). Go bananas! 🙂

Banana Nut Bread in Wooden Baker close up BakeThisBread
Vintage Recipe Mixing: This recipe is based loosely on the “Banana Nut Bread” recipe found in the ever cool metal-cased 1933 Pillsbury “Balanced Recipes” cookbook. We left out the wheat bran and sour cream, switched up butter for shortening, etc.– and we added tidbits from other vintage recipes –with some Grandma Tips thrown in (like mixing the eggs with the mashed bananas before adding them to the dry ingredients). ha! And the black bananas are a must! ‘Cause that’s the country way. Because we’re using really ripe black bananas (there’s less acid in really ripe bananas), both baking powder and baking soda are needed to add extra leavening power. Aye yie yie! This banana bread thing is more like an art-science-intuition thing. 🙂

Retro Cook Book Banana Nut Bread Bake This Bread

So let’s have a go at this wooden spoon recipe. You KNOW there’s no electric beaters required — so please check your electric mixers at the door. 🙂

Vintage Black Banana Nut Bread Recipe

Tools Needed:
Cooking spray (or butter) and parchment (unless you’re using the
Wood Bakers
already lined with parchment)
Bread/Loaf pan(s) 1 large (9″x5″x2-1/2″ or 8″x4″x2″) or 2 smaller Wood Bakers (7″x4″x2-1/2″)
Cookie Sheet Pan (if you’re using Wood Bakers)
Large Bowl (for batter)
Dinner-sized plate (for mashing bananas)
Mashing Tool (fork, potato masher, ricer, etc)
Whisk (or fork for mixing drying ingredients)
Small strainer (for de-seeding lemon juice, optional)
Small bowl or cup (for fork beating eggs)
Medium (soup-sized) bowl (for secret tip of mixing banana puree with eggs)
Wooden Spoon (gotta make it wood, right?) 🙂
Measuring cups and spoons
Pastry brush (or any brush for brushing top of bread with butter, optional – fingers are okay too!)
Temperature Tool (optional but handy)

Two Small Loaves of Vintage Black Banana Bread Bake This Bread

Ingredients for Banana Nut Bread:
1-1/2 cups mashed bananas from dark-skinned ripe bananas (about 4 to 5 large)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon dried cultured buttermilk (optional)
1/2 cup fine-chopped walnuts (substitute pecans or favorite nuts)
2 eggs, fork beaten
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
1/3 cup milk (2% is fine)
1 to 2 Tablespoons room temperature butter for basting the top of the bread

Ten Steps to Making a Fabulous Vintage Black Banana Bread:

1. Defrost the Bananas (if yours are stored frozen):
Haul out your best 4 or 5 large black bananas from the deep freeze. if you’re like me, you’ll have a regular stash hidden behind the frozen peas. 🙂 We defrosted our frozen bananas on the counter in about 30 minutes, easily peeled them and they were nice and dark and sweet.
Tip: Black ripe bananas make the best banana bread because they make the cake sweet and golden-dark brown-crusted with those nice dark speckles. (Remember, for our Banana Layer Cake recipe, we used only lightly ripened yellow bananas.)

Frozen Black Bananas for Homemade Banana Nut Bread Recipe Bake This Bread

2. Prep the Oven and Baking Pans:

Set the oven rack to center position and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 1 large or 2 small loaf pans by spraying with cooking spray or rubbing them with a little butter. We used King Arthur Flour’s (our sponsor) darling Bake and Give Wood Bakers that don’t require prepping ’cause they are lined with parchment papers.

3. Bring Eggs to Room Temperature:

Place into a small bowl (or cup) of warm water for about 10 minutes to bring to room temperature:
2 large eggs

Warming Whole Eggs in Water Jar Bake this Bread

4. Prep the Nanners:

Using a flat plate, use your favorite mashing tool (mine is a potato masher) to puree:
4 to 5 large very ripe bananas for 1-1/2 cups banana puree
Tip: Give the bananas a thorough mashing as all banana bits will show in the finished sweet bread but don’t go food processor on me here…leave a few bits showing for an extra taste punch. 🙂

Mashing Bananas with a Potato Masher for Vintage Banana Bread Recipe Bake This Bread

Measure out the banana puree and notice how nice and rich the banana puree has become when using extra dark bananas.

Mashed and Measured Banana Puree for Banana Bread Bake This Bread

5. Prep the Butter:

Microwave for a few seconds and stir to ensure fluffy room temperature consistency: 1/3 cup unsalted butter

Softened Butter for Banana Bread Recipe Bake This Bread

6. Prep the Dry Ingredients:

Measure out into a large bowl:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon dried cultured buttermilk (optional)

Whisk dry ingredients thoroughly (the lazy sifter’s way) 🙂

Mixing Dry Ingredients for Banana Bread Recipe Collage Bake This Cake

Fine chop by hand or in a mini food processor:
1/2 cup walnuts

Whisk the fine-chopped nuts into the dry ingredients.

Chopped Walnuts for Banana Bread Bake This Bread

7. Squeeze Some Lemon Juice:

De-seed and squeeze to produce (and set aside for a moment):

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (using 1 large lemon)
Tip: My favorite lemon wedge squeezer is shaped like a little bird (and it also seems to catch the seeds). Mine’s inherited and way-old but they seem to have a new version here (we get a lot of requests for where to find one). 🙂
Squeezing Lemon Juice using Bird Press Bake This Bread8. Work with the Eggs and Nanners and Lemon Juice:

Crack the prepared room temperature eggs into a small bowl or cup and, using a fork, beat them until they are thoroughly mixed.

Mixing Eggs in a Jar for Banana Bread Bake This Bread

Stir the fork-beaten eggs into the banana puree and then stir in:
the prepared lemon juice

{{This is Grandma’s secret tip!}}

Mixing Eggs with Banana Bread Batter Bake This Bread

9. Stir That Puppy with a Wooden Spoon!

Stir the banana-egg-lemon mixture into the dry ingredients.

Stir in the prepared room temperature butter.

Pour in and stir until thoroughly incorporated (about 30 strokes):
1/3 cup milk (2% works well)

The final batter lightens up in color and has a lovely aroma even at this stage.

Stirring Banana Bread Batter with a Wooden spoon Bake This Bread

10. Fill ‘er Up and Bake this Puppy!

I like to use an old-fashioned ice cream scooper to deliver the batter to the pans. It seems to help keep the drips at bay. 🙂

Pouring Batter with Ice Cream Scooper Bake This Bread

I filled the Wood Baker pans about half full for tea cake style cakes.

You can pour all the batter into one pan if you are using just one large loaf pan (the batter should reach to about 2/3 full if it’s all going into one pan).

Baking Vintage Banana Bread Recipe Bake This Bread

Bake at 350 degrees. For the smaller pans, bake for about 65 minutes. For the larger bread pan bake for about 75 minutes. Since oven differences can impact the baking time, check on your cakes beforehand. The banana bread will be done when it is somewhat cracked on top, the sides pull away slightly from the edges, a toothpick tests shows clean, the bread springs back a bit when gently pressed at the top center point and the internal temperature reaches about 210 degrees.

Cool the bread for 10 minutes in the pan before brushing the top of the bread with: 1 to 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
Tip: Spreading a little butter on top of the warm bread loaf will help soften the top crust. The initial shine will fade as the cake cools.

Serve this bread warm from the oven or some folks prefer it with a one-day (or more) counter sitting time.

Sliced Vintage Banana Bread Collage Bake This Bread

Do you take yours hot with butter? Cooled with softened cream cheese? My auntie likes her banana bread with cream cheese and orange marmalade.

Serving Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Bake This Bread

Such a homey kitchen craft. Heck, next time I’m going to double the recipe like Grandma used to do — since it seems to go in a flash. 🙂

If you make 2 small loaves, you’ll have the advantage of being able to sample one and give the other as your special kitchen gift. 🙂

Okay, time to keep one and pack one for a friend. We tucked our homemade kitchen gift into a darling clear cellophane Treat Bag purchased from our good friends at www.ShopBakersNook.com (the gift bags come in a set of 3 with lovely ribbon ties and round cards for inscriptions that loop through the ribbon). In this goodie box I packed up a sampling of fruit teas, chocolates and coffee with the banana bread. All these things travel well in winter (chocolates, cold weather, get me?).

Bread Gift Basket Chocolates Tea Coffee Cake Bake This Bread

Thank you for joining me on this vintage baking adventure. I hope you’ll hang with us on Facebook (where you’ll get a sneak peek of our testing vintage cake and bread recipes relating to our sister site Bake This Cake!) — and where you’ll find me asking for advice from our baker friends as we make our way through historic recipe quandaries. You might even want to check your grandma’s recipe cards and tip us on what you think might be fun to bake up next. 🙂

If you bake this bread, shoot me a photo at Lesliemak@facebook.com and I’ll post it. 🙂

Happy vintage bread baking!


Leslie Macchiarella photo by Julie Macchiarella

Downtown LA Red Collage photos by Leslie Macchiarella
Downtown LA Red Collage by Leslie Macchiarella

Country Roasted Pumpkin Bread #Recipe — Cooking at the River House

Nothing says homemade scratch cookin’ better than a warm slice of homemade pumpkin bread made from home-roasted pumpkins or a bit of organic canned pumpkin puree.

Baked and Butter Pumpkin Bread by the River Bake This BreadIt’s the time of year for cooking fresh and homemade. Company’s a comin! And you KNOW that starting off from scratch is the real deal. And NOTHING says LOVE more than a kitchen-crafted loaf of soft country bread. Like, what could be nicer when the weather’s cold than a warm slice of homemade pumpkin bread.This bread is glorious! Its made from a simple country white bread recipe with an added dollop of home-roasted pumpkin puree (or even a scoop of organic canned pumpkin puree).

Less than half of a mini cantelope-sized pumpkin’ll do ya for this bread if you’ll be cooking it up the slow food method. But it’s okay to use canned organic pumpkin puree (no sugar added) cause that also works well.


So if you’re making pumpkin pie (like my sister did) using fresh pumpkin for the holidays, save a little for this awesome little bread recipe and you’ll be amazed how delighted your guests will be. This bread doesn’t have a pumpkin pie flavor (because pumpkin recipes usually have cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg — this doesn’t). So the result is just bright and moist and countrified. Oh, and the orange color is pretty dang cute, did I mention that?

Thanksgiving dessert table at the river house photo by Leslie Macchiarella

We left the city for the river house to join with family and friends — and to count our blessings.

Country Table Setting at the River House BakeThisBread

 The Merced River this time of year is cold. The salmon are starting to spawn and there’ll be no fishing on the river soon as the river closes down for the winter to let the salmon run.

Riiver House Merced River in winter  photo by Leslie Macchiarella

We’re gathered around the fireplace, reading good books, chatting and cooking up some fun food events for the fam. Since we prep the food on the bar in front of the fire, the whole house grabs a bar stool to watch the action – and maybe to snatch a taste or two of the food action. Won’t you join us for a nice slice or two of this incredible easy-to-prepare homemade pumpkin bread? I think you’re going to love it, I really do.

Sliced Pumpkin Bread Loaf LifeforcePhotos for Bake This Bread

Click HERE to check out our easy instructions on how to roast a mini pumpkin for pumpkin puree. Basically, just clean a mini pumpkin and throw it in the oven at 350 until it becomes fork tender (like a baked potato), then scrape out the pumpkin and puree it in a food processor or blender until it becomes a thick paste.

Pumpkin Bread Loaf by the river photo by LifeForcePhotos for Bake This Bread

3 cups bread flour
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 teaspoons yeast (we used bread machine yeast in a jar)
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree (or fresh roasted room temperature pumpkin puree)

How to made homemade pumpkin bread:

1.) Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until it holds together.

Pumpkin Bread Dough Bake This Bread

2.) Sprinkle it with a little flour and work with your hands until the tacky or sticky feeling disappears. When the tacky feeling disappears, move it to the countertop.

Pumpkin Bread Dough on Bar with fish spoon Bake This Bread

3.) Set a timer and knead the dough, pressing firmly with the heels of your hands, for 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Bread Dough Disc Shape Bake This Bread

4.) Shape the dough into smooth disc and place it in large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Pumpkin Bread Dough First RestBake This Bread

5.) Let the covered dough rise for 1 hour in a warm spot (like the oven with just a light on inside).

Here’s what it looks like when it has risen for 1 hour…

Pumpkin Bread Dough at end of First Rise Bake This Bread

6.) Remove the dough from the rising bowl and knead it for 1 minute and shape it for final baking shape. Place the shaped dough into a buttered bread pan.

Pumpkin Bread Dough Second Rise in Bread Pan Bake This Bread

7.) Let the dough rise uncovered for 1 hour or until the bread just starts to rise over the top of the bread pan. I like to spray it with a light spray of water a few times to keep it moist.

8.) Bake it in pre-heated 350 oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown (internal temperature shoud be about 185 degrees).

Now you’ve got yourself a country soft servin bread, whoo hoo!

Leslie cutting Pumpkin Bread BakeThisBread photo by LifeForcePhotos

Serve it warm with honey butter. yum! Store the bread wrapped in wax paper or in a brown paper bag or wrapped in parchment.Sliced Fresh Pumpkin Bread cropped homemade Bake This Bread

Thank you for joining me on this homemade bread making journey! Check out our vintage cake recipes at Bake This Cake! and we’ll have some history fun in the kitchen together.

Let me know how it goes if you choose this bread recipe for your holiday table (and remember I love photos)! 😀


Leslie Macchiarella sq photo by Julie Macchiarella

Follow the photos to bake this bread – Photo Graphics Homemade Bread Rolls

Follow the photos to bake a lovely round of homemade yeast bread rolls!

Homemade Yeast Bread Rolls in a Basket Bake This Bread

Welcome to easy step-by-step old-fashioned bread-making Right on your counter-top! No fancy bread machines required! (And if you have a machine, just put that thing away!) Just lock and load the dough on a lightly floured counter top and pull out a tiny bit of muscle power and you’re off. Don’t forget to haul your friends or your kids to the kitchen to watch or help. And kick up the music ’cause it’s cool and fun to make your own lovely homemade scratch bread or rolls just like great-grandma used to do.

Here’s how to make lovely homemade yeast rolls…

Plop the ingredients into a large bowl.

Tip: A yeast packet is about 2-1/2 teaspoons of yeast. You can use rapid rise or bread machine yeast or 1 refrigerated cake or just about any other type of yeast for this recipe.

Double tip: Bread flour or all-purpose flour will do the trick and unsalted butter is best but not required.

Triple tip: In the photos, t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon.
Wordless Homemade Yeast Bread Recipe Blog Photo-Graphic Bake This Cake

Stir the bread batter it with a wooden spoon…

Stirring Bread Ingredients with Wooden Spoon Bake This Cake

Stir it until it forms a nice ball…

Bread Dough Packed in a Ball Bake This Cake

Dust a little flour on the counter-top and knuckle into the dough, flapping it over and pushing with the heel of your hand. Set the timer and turn on your favorite music…

Bread Dough After 5 Mins Kneading BakeThisCake

After 10 minutes of bread kneading magic (aka bread meditation time), your dough will look like this…

Bread #Dough After 10 Mins Kneading Bake This #Cake

Let’s make nice dinner rolls with it using a 4″ circle cutter (even an upside down glass or wide-mouth jar will do).

Rolled Yeast #Bread #Dough with Circle Cut Outs Bake This Cake

Roll the circle lightly…

Dough Circles Rolled for Bread Rolls Bake This Cake

Roll it on the counter-top (see the stages of flat to curled to rolled on the right sidee of the tray in the photo below) and shape it like this…

Rolling Circles of Dough into #Bread Rolls Bake This Cake

Rest the rolled dough on a cookie sheet (or other pan) that is lightly sprayed with cooking spray or rubbed with butter. Let them hang in a warm place (like the oven with the light on) for one hour.

After First Hour Rise #Bread Dough Bake This Cake

Check on your little dough babies, maybe spray them with a little water and let them continue to rise for another hour…

Homemade Yeast #Bread During Second Rise Bake This #Cake

When the second hour has elapsed, they will look something like this…

Ready to Bake 2 Homemade Yeast Bread Rolls Bake This Cake

Bake them in a hot 350 oven on a buttered cookie sheet pan for about 20 minutes until golden brown…

Homemade Bread Rolls Baking Bake This Cake

They will look like this (and they will smell heavenly!)…

Baked Bread Rolls on Pizza Pan Bake This Cake

Different shapes are good ’cause that means they’re homemade…

Baked Rolls on Cookie Sheet Pan BakeThisCake

Brush them with a little melted butter…

Brushing Butter on Baked #Bread Rolls Bake This Cake

Okay, yum!

Butter Brushed Finished #Bread Rolls on Pizza Pan Bake This Cake

Your little baby bread rolls are going to go fast at the table, I can assure you!

Butter Brushed Finished #Bread Rolls on Cookie Sheet Pan Bake This Cake

When the butter soaks into the rolls, they look like this, all decked out in a cut handkerchief-lined basket for your holiday dinner table…

#Homemade Yeast #Bread Rolls in a Basket Bake This Cake

Slice them open and find soft, white country style homemade bread rolls for supper.

Bread Roll Sliced Open in a Basket Bake This Cake

Spread them with a little butter (or not) and you’ve got yourself some history in the making…

Homemade #Bread Roll on Mustard Yellow #Fiestaware Plate Bake This #Cake

Thank you for joining me on this little photo adventure through bread baking land. 😀

I hope you’ll leave comments for me and follow us on Facebook where we show test recipes in progress. And check out our homemade vintage cakes using recipes from way back in the day.

Leslie at beachwood overview

Here’s some first time bread bakers learning the ropes…

Kneading Bread Dough BakeThisCakeIt’s a bread making party!

Making Bread in the Kitchen BakeThisCake

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