While we were pulling together our 2015 trend list, Middle Eastern and North African flavors kept popping up. Some of these are familiar, like coriander. However, we’ve also started seeing spice blends like zaatar (a blend that varies a bit, but usually contains sumac, thyme, and sesame seeds) or Aleppo pepper. Aleppo peppers are named after the city in Syria, and are grown in Syria and Turkey. They are usually sold crushed and have a mild flavor, somewhat similar to ancho chile peppers. The crushed peppers can be found at specialty spice shops or online.
We wanted to combine the mild, almost citrusy heat of the Aleppo pepper with cinnamon, and that is how the idea for our Cinnamon and Aleppo Pepper Braided Loaf was born! This bread starts with a hot roll mix, enriches the dough a bit for an almost brioche-like texture, and twists and turns to create a stunning loaf. Good news? It’s not actually as complicated as it looks.
Shaping the bread is pretty simple.
1) First, roll out the dough to a large rectangle and spread with the filling.
2) Roll it up from the long end, just like you would for a cinnamon roll or jelly roll.
3) Pinch the seams and ends to seal. Then, cut in half lengthwise to expose the different layers you’ve just made.
4) Twist the two pieces together like a rope, and then place in your prepared loaf pan in an “S” shape, tucking the ends under the curves of the “S.”
5) After a short rise, the bread is ready to bake until golden brown and beautiful!
Let us know if you make this bread! Have you ever used Aleppo pepper in a recipe?