Wednesday, 15 February 2017 11:45

In search of cinnamon bits

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This week, a few questions from readers, all about baking:

• “Do you know of a source for those intense, sweet little cinnamon bits that are found in some commercials scones and muffins? The example that comes in mind most quickly is the cinnamon scones from Cobbs. I would like to replicate them if possible. My brother, like me is a cinnamon freak, and if I could make those for him, I would win the "best older sister contest"! I enjoy your recipes and columns a great deal so thought that you might be a good source for this information. Thanks for your help, Kim
Dear Kim,
Any day that I have no reasonable choice but to stop by a bakery and leave with scones is a good day!
By the time I enjoyed them with my Sunday coffee, I'd hatched a few theories about those cinnamon bits, but were sure of none.
I quickly nixed “cinnamon chips,” which are hard to come by and said to taste of flavoured candles. And while I'm convinced that bakers must buy their bits by the crate, I realized that I was going to have to figure out how to make them myself.
Long to short, I had a Eureka! moment when I made “cinnamon flakes.”
At first they don’t at first seem as though they’ll melt into baked goods, but they do. And marvelously so. Incorporate them into your favourite recipe for sweet scones by stirring them into the mixture after cutting the butter into the dry ingredients. Or go to for my recipe.
I hope you’re as pleased with results as I am!
Cinnamon Flakes
6 tbs granulated sugar
2 tbs cinnamon
2 tbs unsalted butter
4 tsp corn syrup
In a small bowl, combine ingredients with a fork until they come together evenly and form a somewhat crumbly mixture
Using a buttered spatula, spread mixture into two 7-inch circles on a Silpat- or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake at 250F for 35 minutes, until bubbly and melted. Cool completely. Break circles into small flakes.

• ”Hi Darcie:
I read your column about doing pizza dough in the bread maker. In my book that came with our Bread Maker, the only recipe for pizza dough calls for beer, and I don't ever have that in  our home.  So, if you could help me out, I would so appreciate it.  I would also like the steps to follow after making the dough.  I have never made pizza but have wanted to try it for a long time.  Hope this isn't asking too much.   
Thank you
Shirley Unrau
Dear Shirley,
This recipe is one I've used over and over. I usually freeze half, and while it doesn't rise as well after freezing, it does just fine.
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbs granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tbs olive oil
Add water, oil, sugar and salt into the bowl of your breadmaker. Cover with flour, top with yeast, and set to the dough program.
Punch down and divide into 2 equal balls. For each, on a floured surface, roll out into 8 to 10-inch circle. Transfer to a hot pizza stone that’s been sprinkled with cornmeal to prevent sticking. Top with your favourite ingredients. Bake at 400F for 22 minutes.

“In Darcie’s column about baking bread she said’…proofing cycle that beats setting a bowl of dough to rise on a drafty, often air conditioned countertop”.  Will you please pass along to her a tip I read several years ago about rising bread dough:
 ’Heat oven to ‘warm’, then to ‘off’ when it reaches there.  In the meantime make your dough and when it is ready for rising, place it in the warmed oven, covered by a cloth.’
This will rise it nicely without being influenced by outside sources. This works equally as well for the second rising.
Thank you.
Kathleen Charlton
Dear Kathleen,
Thank you so much. This is a trick I'm sure to use again and again.

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