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Making swirled breads

Q. When making rolled cinnamon bread, how can I avoid air pockets between the layers? — Kay, Oshkosh

A.  I can almost smell the cinnamon as I ponder this question. I tell you the truth, if I were alone in a room with a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread, I would win…

The creation of air pockets in swirl-type breads is a common occurrence. The primary cause of air pockets in the dough are the ingredients themselves. In this case, it’s the sugar and butter which both melt away and give off moisture as part of the baking process. As the ingredients heat, they deteriorate and leave behind air pockets because the dough has already set around them. These undesirable air pockets are very similar to the action fat takes in making a pie crust flaky, which in that example is desirable.

To help minimize air pockets in your swirl bread, make sure that the layer of filling you spread on the dough is thin — the thinner, the better. A thin layer of cinnamon spread will leave less of a hole when it melts and give off less moisture. You would be much better off to roll your dough much thinner and then put a very thin layer of the filling on the dough. I think it looks better, too. Also remember to roll the dough as tight as possible. Another thing you could try is docking your dough. Docking is the process where you take a fork and poke the dough many times to eliminate gasses that have built up before you are ready to proof (or rise) your dough.

I hope these suggestions will help you with your bread. Happy rolling!

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