Coffeebread was one of the baked goods my Mom would make that celebrated our Swedish heritage. It's good to have anytime, particularly with coffee! It would usually be included with the desserts after Christmas Eve supper and also eaten at breakfast on Christmas Day. As a "fourth-generation Swede" (my family first arrived in Texas in 1870) I decided as a teenager that I would carry on the tradition by learning how to make coffeebread. My oldest daughter also makes coffeebread and so the tradition will continue!
Notes from the Test Kitchen:
I'm not sure which is lovelier, this recipe's presentation or the tradition behind it! The bread has a light cinnamon flavor and is simply pretty as a picture. I would proudly serve this for any special occasion or brunch. Just beautiful!
1In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, let stand for 5 minutes.
2In a large mixing bowl, combine warm milk, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, vegetable oil and beaten egg, mixing well.
3Stir in yeast mixture.
4Add 3 cups of the flour, mixing well. Gradually add remaining flour, one cup at a time. When the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl, turn it out on a lightly floured surface. Gradually knead in remaining flour until dough is smooth and elastic.
5Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until dough doubles in size.
6Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Gently punch dough down and divide into thirds. With each dough portion, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a pastry brush, brush dough with softened butter. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 TBSP. and 1 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture on dough (reserve remaining mixture for the other two dough portions). Roll up dough, jelly roll style. Pinch dough at both ends and along the long seam to seal. Form dough into a circle and place seam side down on a greased cookie sheet. Using scissors, cut 1" slices all around the dough ring, only cutting 2/3rd of the way down. Then fan out each alternating slice. Cover and let rise until almost doubled. Repeat procedure with two remaining dough balls.
7Bake in a preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes. When coffeebread is first removed from the oven, using a pastry brush, brush with melted butter.
8YIELDS: 3 COFFEEBREADS (or Swedish Tea Rings)
OPTIONAL: Icing: Mix together 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 TBSP. milk, 1 tsp. vanilla. Drissle over cooled coffeebread. Can also be served with cream cheese.