Vegan Buttermilk Cinnamon Swirl Bread

>> Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I’m not always good at delivering my promised recipes as quickly as I want to. So, without further delay, here’s the vegan “buttermilk” cinnamon swirl bread I mentioned in yesterday’s Brown Rice Milk recipe. We’ve been eating this loaf toasted for breakfast for the last week. It’s almost gone now, so writing this post gives me a nice reminder to get going on my next one.


Loosely based off this Cinnamon Raisin Bread recipe circa 2009

What you’ll need . . .

Bread mixture:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups rice milk or almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance (or other vegan buttery spread)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
Cinnamon mixture:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon water

Method . . .

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and salt. Set aside.
  2. Proof the yeast by placing the water, yeast, and brown sugar in a bowl and mixing. Let sit until frothy.
  3. On the stovetop, warm the Earth Balance over low heat and add the rice or almond milk. Mix in the maple syrup until everything is well incorporated and warm, not hot. If mixture gets warmer than wrist temperature, wait until it is cooler to add to yeast (heat can kill off the yeast).
  4. Combine the yeast mixture and warm milk mixture. Then add in the flour and start mixing with a spatula.
  5. Work to kneading with your hands, adding a bit more flour as necessary. Eventually turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and keep kneading for 5 or so more minutes. Dough should be moist, but not sticky.
  6. Place dough back in your bowl and cover with a wet tea towel or plastic wrap. Let sit until doubled in bulk, around 2 hours.


  1. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees F. Place a dutch oven inside on the middle rack to preheat as well.
  2. Roll dough into a large rectangle (maybe the length/width of a baking sheet?) that’s around 1/4 inch or less thick on a well floured work surface.
  3. Mix together the ingredients for the cinnamon filling, then spread evenly onto the dough and roll into a long snake-like shape. Elongate and stretch this shape so it’s long enough to twist and coil around itself like in the photo. Maybe two feet long? (Sorry for the question marks, it sort of just happened when I was baking it -- I totally winged this part!)
  4. Then form into a round and place in your preheated (covered) dutch oven and place in oven.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to 425 and continue baking for another half hour to 45 minutes. Until crust is golden. 
  6. Remove and let cool before cutting (or the cinnamon mixture might spurt out).

Glorious homemade bread!


  • There’s really no right or wrong way to twist and form your round. I just did what felt natural and wanted the most swirly action.
  • You’ll probably notice some leakage of cinnamon mixture at the bottom of your loaf. I had some, and at first I worried about it. Then it ended up being the most delicious part of the whole thing.
  • You can try this recipe with any type of milk or non-dairy substitute. Just beware that some slight modifications might be necessary with regard to flour. Just pay attention to the stickiness of your dough. It shouldn’t stick to your fingers. You might need more flour. (And alternatively, shouldn’t be too dry -- need more liquid). If you’re familiar with baking breads, I think you know the sweet spot.
  • This bread freezes famously well! Keeps you from eating the whole thing in two days (though I could have done that easily, too).


  • Wait to do all these steps until your loaf is completely cooled.
  • Slice your bread into medium slices. I say medium because too thin wasn’t working and I don’t think mega-thick slices of bread because they are hard to toast.
  • Lay out slices on cookie sheets and freeze for an hour or two. Then place slices in plastic zipper bags.
  • To defrost, I just put them in my toaster for a couple minutes.

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