On my day off I considered making a true laminated dough--basically, you get a bunch of butter to fifty-five degrees and pound it into flat sheet. Then you roll out your bread dough to be twice that size. Make a butter sandwich. Then you take on a series of rolling and folding and chilling steps, multiplying your layers of butter and dough with each set.
Then there's shaping and proofing and when you finally bake off the dough, not only do you get exquisite richness from the butter, but you get an airy crumb as those layers become distinct.
It takes hours, on top of the hours already involved in the basic dough*.
I am not that patient. Especially not on my lazy day.
So I faked the process to produce this swirly cinnamon bread.
I rolled out the dough, spread a layer of room temperature butter, sprinkled with a little brown sugar and a generous sprinkling of good cinnamon, and then folded the dough in thirds like a letter.
I turned the dough ninety degrees, rolled it out, and repeated the process with another smear of butter, more brown sugar, more cinnamon. I did this probably four or five times.
No whacking butter, no chilling stages. Maybe fifteen minutes of work total.
When I was tired of folding, I put the dough into a greased glass pan, and let it proof once more.
Baked it off in a 375 degree oven and was rewarded with this deliciousness.
At least once in my life I will likely do the full lamination thing, if for no other reason than I want to be able to say that I made pain au chocolat.
Until then, well, no one complains when cinnamon bread shows up.
*My basic dough ingredients these days are something roughly like this:
1.5 cups warm water
1 cup sourdough starter
1/2 t. yeast
2 c. bread flour + extra
1-2 T. salt
1.5 c. whole wheat or white wheat flour
Sometimes I put in a couple tablespoons of oil.
This batch was split between the cinnamon bread and dinner rolls, so I did not put any sugar in the dough. Otherwise, I might have.