We LOVE Great Harvest Cinnamon Burst bread, but at more than $6 a loaf, it’s something we only buy a couple times a year. Doesn’t it make the worlds best french toast?
This recipe came to our rescue about 3 years ago. We love it. It makes enough for four loaves, and it freezes well if it makes it that long. It usually doesn’t. We gave 1 1/2 loaves away and finished off the rest in 2 days. Now, here’s the little issue with this recipe: finding the cinnamon bites for it. Note: do not let this “little issue” stand in your way. Once you find your favorite way to get the cinnamon bites and start making this recipe, you will never stop.
Cinnamon bites and cinnamon chips are totally different. This recipe DOES NOT USE cinnamon chips, that you buy at the grocery store, which are similar to chocolate chips. Cinnamon bites are tiny, hard bullet-like shapes of compacted, slightly sweetened cinnamon. The place I found them in online at one of my favorite baking sources, King Arthur Flour. They’re called cinnamon flav-r-bites and are $7.95 for 16 ounces, which will be enough to make this recipe 2 1/2 times (10 loaves). It’s just that the shipping isn’t cheap.
Option number two is this product from Allison’s Pantry – they’re called Gerken’s Mini Cinnamon Drops.
I can’t remember how much they were a bag; my friend Heather and I went in on a bunch of bags and I stocked up. I do remember ordering was kind of a pain because we had to order through a specific girl, not the store, and it took a long time to receive our order.
These are very similar to cinnamon chips, but they are tiny, and they do work really well in the recipe.
Option number three: I had heard since I started making this recipe that Great Harvest gets their cinnamon chips from Honeyville Grain, which has several stores around Salt Lake, and also ships. Since I have started making this recipe, I haven’t found a Honeyville Grain store that carries the chips anymore, and when I saw a huge Honeyville Grain truck delivering products to our local Great Harvest one morning, I was tempted to get on that truck and do some research. In fact, I SUPER regret not running over to chat with the driver about my little cinnamon chip issue.
If you’re really interested in trying this recipe, especially if you live near me, let’s chat, and perhaps go in on another big order of Allison’s Pantry cinnamon drops.
Are you finally ready for the recipe? This recipe will fill a 6 qt KitchenAid. If you have a smaller mixer, half the recipe. If you have a Bosch, you might be able to double.
3 T. yeast
2/3 cup sugar
4 eggs, beaten lightly
3 3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 T. salt
3 T. vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups cinnamon bites
10-12 cups flour
Put yeast, sugar and water in the mixer. Let sit for several minutes, until bubbly. Add eggs and 4 cups of flour, and mix until it all combined well. Add salt, oil and cinnamon drops. Mix well. Add 6-7 more cups of flour. Bread flour is best, but you can use all purpose or half fresh ground whole wheat. This will put your mixer through a bit of a work out, and the dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl. You can stop when the batter is still pretty sticky like this:
as long as it’s still pulling away from the sides of the bowl. This is about 10.5-11 cups of flour. The fastest way to make a bread too tough or dense is to add too much flour. Yep, it’s a bit of a mess to work with, but you’ll really like the finished product so much better. You can add up to 12 cups of flour if you need to, and aren’t in the mood for a bit more mess. But I would never ever do that. Ok? Ok.
Put the dough into a clean large bowl and let rise for 1 hour. Here’s a trick on how to do that, since your dough is so sticky: you will want to spray a work surface with cooking spray, then spray your hands. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto the work surface. Then I clean out my mixing bowl, spray it with cooking spray, and after kneading the dough a couple times to get it nice and round, plop it back into the bowl. Cover with a towel.
After the 1 hour rise, the dough will not be sticky at all. Turn it onto a work surface and shape into four loaves. Place in well greased pans, and rise until doubled, about another hour. I usually line my pans with parchment or foil that I spray before putting the loaves in the pans.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes and immediately turn out of pans to cool.