Scottsboro AL, 2017.
We’ve been talking about how we’re missing just getting out for a weekend to a big amusement park (we’re really not into Six Flags Atlanta, but like Dollywood and of course love WDW), and it got me thinking of the one big treat at Dollywood that we alllllways have to have: their cinnamon bread.
You know how an angel loses its wings every time someone puts a cast iron skillet in the dishwasher? Or a recipe starts with One Box Betty Crocker White Cake Mix instead of like the three or four ingredients that that really is? I did a search for the recipe for Dollywood’s cinnamon bread, annnnnd ouch, 1 (1-pound) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed.
If Dollywood is making it with frozen bread dough, okay. Maybe the big Sysco truck is backing up to some dock door there every morning at the crack of dawn and beep beep beep, here’s yer frozen bread. I don’t even really know. But I want to make it from scratch because doing so feels better…as though a weird part of me imagines my ancestral grandmothers from a thousand generations smiling down from heaven as I level off tablespoons of dry yeast or something. And then they’re like “what’s a Kitchenaid?”. Who knows. But it’s me.
Anyway, did it, done it, from scratch and faaaabulous. Seriously, as good as or better than at the park.
Here’s the recipe I used:
2 tbsp warm water (100-110*F)
1-1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1-1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 c. butter
2-1/2 c. bread flour (but can totally use all-purpose)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Activate the yeast by combining it with the warm water and 1/2 tsp sugar. Let that sit five minutes.
In a Kitchenaid, beat together milk, egg, salt, 1/3 c. sugar, and 4 tbsp melted butter, then once combined, add flour slowly until combined. Keep beating with dough hook 4-5 minutes, then put in bowl and cover with towel in a dark place. It will double in about 1-1/2 hours.
Combine the cinnamon and sugar.
Roll the risen dough into a roughly 20×12″ rectangle. This doesn’t have to be perfect. Rub the rest of the (melted) butter onto the surface, then sprinkle all the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top. It will look like a lot because it is a lot.
Save the cinnamon-sugar that falls off the pieces to sprinkle over the top right before baking.
Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray, then make five rows of five strips (standing up). Cover that again with a towel in a dark place for another hour of rising.
If you’re in to overdoing it (go for it!) serve with icing of powdered sugar and water or milk to the consistency you like for dipping. That is *so* over the top, but that’s the way it’s served at the park.
From Inside Appalachia via Morehead State Public Radio, this piece on the authenticity of the experience at Dollywood: