Thursday, April 12, 2012

100% wholemeal cinnamon swirl

It was Cedele that first introduced my family to cinnamon swirl bread. Before Cedele, we had had our favourite sticky buns from a bakery next to Cold Storage Jelita, and cinnamon raisin buns from Delifrance, but never swirly cinnamon in breakfast-type bread. My mother enjoyed Cedele's cinnamon swirl a lot, but rarely bought it because of her preference for wholemeal over white flour.

My successful 100% wholemeal bread must have given her some confidence in my baking skills, because after she finished that loaf, she requested for 100% wholemeal cinnamon swirl bread.

Peter Reinhart has a specific receipe for whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread in his book Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads. But I decided to try it on his 100% wholemeal bread receipe instead, with the same modifications I had made to the previous loaf.

Further modifications were:

- Instead of using rice bran oil as used in the previous two loaves, I used my precious Purity Farm Organic Ghee from pastured cows that I shipped in from the US. The reasons were that pastured cows' milk contains more CLA than grain fed cows' milk, and CLA is a great antioxidant and essential fatty acid. Additionally, pastured fed cow products have an Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio of 3:1, whereas the ratio of grain fed cow products is 20:1. We should support farms which produce organic whole foods, and cow farms whose cows are pastured. Lastly, I wanted to see how the bread would turn out if I used ghee / butter instead of oil.

- An additional 10g of water to the biga by accident.

This time, the loaf turned out much more wet, and I had to constantly wet my hands so that the dough would not stick to them. I could not add more wholemeal flour to the bread because I had run out of it. Rolling the dough up after spreading eggwash and cinnamon on its surface was a challenge because of its gloopiness.

But finally two rolls were done, and I put them in a baking tin to see if they would form nice peaks upon rising. I applied eggwash before the final rise, and then waited. Within half an hour, the two rolls had risen so insanely much that they filled the whole baking tin and merged into each other.

I snipped the tops at a 45 degree angle to see what would happen...

Good oven spring

The snipped bits did not turn the bread into a porcupine,
probably because of the gloopiness of the dough

Nice brown crust from the eggwash


The top half of the bread had nice bigger holes, while the bottom half was a little more dense, but still holey. As you can see, the swirl did not quite work out as a swirl, but at least the cinnamon lines managed to get spread through the bread. The only thing was that I had sprinkled way too little cinnamon on the surface of the dough so that even though there was a nice cinnamon smell when the slices of bread were being toasted, there was little cinnamon taste. 

My mother enjoyed the texture of the bread a lot though. Even though she did not tell me that it was good, a few days later she told her sister that the wholemeal bread was so light that it did not taste like 100% wholemeal. I too think that this loaf tasted more light and fluffy than the previous loaf. So perhaps the combination of an extra 10g of water, ghee, and eggwash made it so.

Perhaps next time I shall try Peter Reinhart's specific receipe, and add much more cinnamon plus honey on the surface of the dough.

Submitted to YeastSpotting


  1. Hi, total excitement when I came across your post! I'm a fellow blogger from Singapore. Recently I've been trying out breads from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads and mine turns out a little gummy/wet/cakey too. I wonder if it is the humidity that is affecting the texture and that less water should be used instead. I find that the texture improves after one or two days. Usually I freeze my bread to prolong its shelf life and toasting it makes it taste better too.

    Anyway the cinnamon bread is right up my list. Yours looks pretty good and its so cute how the two loaves merged into one (I'm easily amused like that)

    Btw, in reference to one of your previous posts, you can find Larabars at Brown Rice Paradise at Tanglin Mall. They stock a huge range of nut butters too including Artisana raw nut butters (almond, cashew, walnut, pecan) and Maranatha. I love that shop.

  2. Hello Sabrina! It is good to hear from another Singaporean baker who has used Peter Reinhart's receipes!

    I agree that the texture improves after one or two days - I find that it becomes more dry, which is what I am used to. What flour do you use? What have you baked so far? And do you have photos or a blog on your breads? :)

    Thanks for your compliments on my cinnamon bread (blush). And thanks for your tip on where to find Larabars! Am going to have to visit Tanglin Mall soon!

  3. Hi, I tried the basic 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf, but used whole grain spelt flour (Bob's Red Mill) instead of wheat. You can see my post about it here (

    Actually that wss my first and only bread that I have baked so far but I'm definitely looking forward to baking more of my own breads!

  4. Your first loaf turned out really well, so I am sure your rest will continue being successes!

  5. Hello! I would recommend trying the waitrose wholemeal bread flour from cold storage if you have the chance. I can't remember off hand how much it cost, but it wasn't too expensive. It's been a while since Ive been back to Singapore hmm. I made ww foccacia bread, 100% ww bread and a cinnamon roll one the last time I was back and found the humidity a challenge to handle. I didn't like prima flour much, it felt like white flour with wheat germ. I'm not too sure whether you could get atta flour? The one I discovered here is wholemeal and certainly has a much finer grain . Oh I did manage to get the focaccia bread to have holes :) but it was alot heavier than normal .

  6. Oh! And try the no knead bread recipes! It works with a higher hydration dough than most. The original is from Sullivan bakery ( you can google it) but there are a few ww ones floating around. And no I'm sorry I don't have a blog and I don't think i took pictures for some of them

  7. Hello Janice! Thanks for your tips on no knead bread receipes from Sullivan bakery! Have heard of them and haven't been sure whether to try no knead bread yet. Next time do take some pictures for us to admire your bread !! :)

    I think I have seen Atta flour at Thoomson Plaza NTUC Fairprice Finest. Do you recommend Waitrose's wholemeal bread flour because it has a finer grain?

    My 100% wholemeal foccacia (see using the Origins wholemeal flour turned out not that heavy compared to when I used plain flour, but I am certain it would have been a disaster if I used PrimaFlour's wholemeal flour!