High-fiber white bread: NOT an oxymoron

I love toast for breakfast. Crisp, crunchy, buttery hot toast. Perfect with a glass of cold Ovaltine; yin to creamy oatmeal’s yang. I love the way just the very top millimeter of toast crust softens up under its coat of melting butter. I like toast’s toasty aroma. I just plain like TOAST.

So imagine my chagrin several years ago when I started a diet that didn’t include toast. In an effort to shed those “extra 10 pounds” (ladies, I’m sure many of you are familiar with those “extra 10”—they seem to be regular companions of many of us), I went on a diet heavy on whole grains. And I really, REALLY missed my toast. My WHITE toast. Specifically, my cinnamon swirl white toast.

I experimented with whole-grain toast: 100% whole wheat, rye, multi-grain… and they simply didn’t reach the comfort level of their lighter cousin. The raisin-pecan rye was great, but with the nuts and fruit, the calorie level was climbing up there even before I applied butter… sigh. What’s a dieting white toast lover to do?

Take that white toast, and beef up its fiber—without affecting its signature white toastiness. It needed to be light-textured. Crisp. Mildly flavored. AND high fiber. Hmmm… How about trying that new stuff Sue’s been putting into her cookies lately, that stuff that’s supposed to add fiber “invisibly”? Will it work in yeast bread?

You betcha! Corn-based Hi-maize Fiber acts like dietary fiber in your body, but works like cornstarch in your baked goods—i.e., its flavor and texture are indiscernible, compared to the traditional fiber found in whole grains. Not having read the manufacturer’s recommendation to substitute Hi-maize for 1/4 of the flour in your recipe, I went ahead and subbed it for a full 1/3 of the flour. Trouble?

Not at all—it worked beautifully. I found the dough a little more fragile (understandable, given the loss of gluten), but it rose just fine. And what are a few cracks in the crust when you’re talking 4g fiber per slice of WHITE bread?

Make that white toast. Which I do, regularly. Most of the time adding a cinnamon-sugar swirl, just because man doesn’t live by white toast alone.

Trust me; this stuff is the easiest way to add fiber to your diet since strawberries. Click on the Hi-maize link in the previous paragraph if you want to know more about how it works, scientifically. But if you want to jump right in and make High-Fiber Cinnamon Swirl Bread, keep reading…

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First, combine all of the dough ingredients. I’m using instant yeast here, which means I don’t have to dissolve it in water first and let it grow for 15 minutes, as I would active dry yeast. Hey, anything to save 15 minutes, right?

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I use the flat beater paddle of my stand mixer to make a rough dough…

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…then use the dough hook to knead for about 7 minutes, till it’s nice and smooth.

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Into my 8-cup measuring cup it goes, so I can easily track its rise.

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Just under 2 hours later, it’s nearly doubled. If you knead by hand, the rising time may be longer. Knead in the bread machine, it’ll probably be shorter.

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Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a rough oval. Place it on a lightly greased work surface. Why not lightly floured? Because as you roll the dough into a log, you don’t want extra flour creeping into the cinnamon filling.

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Pat and roll the dough into a 6” x 20” rectangle. It’s a lovely dough to work with; a few swipes of the rolling pin is all it takes to get it to this size.

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Brush with beaten egg. Why? Well, have you ever sliced a loaf of swirl bread and found big gaps in between the swirl and the bread? The protein in the egg will help cement the filling to the bread. It’s not foolproof; but it sure helps. You’ll have some beaten egg left over; save it for brushing onto the top of the loaf later.

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Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour. The flour helps keep the filling from liquefying and seeping out of the bread as it bakes.

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Sprinkle evenly on the dough, leaving one short end free of sugar. Leaving one end bare allows you to seal the loaf shut once it’s rolled.

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Roll the dough into a log. Don’t stretch it as you roll, but don’t be too gentle, either; you want a firm log.

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Just like this.

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Seal the ends and the side seam closed.

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Place the loaf in a lightly greased 8 1/2” x 4 1/2” bread pan, with the seam underneath.

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Brush a very light coating of the leftover beaten egg over the top of the loaf. Don’t let any dribble down the sides; it’ll get in between the bread and the pan, and cement the loaf to the pan (the same way it cements the filling to the bread). Sometimes “cementing” is a good thing—sometimes it’s not!

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Sprinkle the top of the loaf with cinnamon sugar. Just mix some cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it on; no particular amount, no particular ratio of cinnamon to sugar. This is the part of the recipe where you just need to wing it.

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Bake in a 350°F oven for about 40 minutes. Don’t fret if the top cracks a bit; it’s a result of the Hi-maize fiber replacing some of the unbleached all-purpose flour (and its gluten).

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Ta-da! Cinnamon swirl WHITE bread with a nice 4g fiber per slice.

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And my favorite way to serve cinnamon swirl bread: toasted, with butter.

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And more cinnamon-sugar sprinkled on top, for you real cinnamon apprecianados!

Read our recipe for High-Fiber Cinnamon Swirl Bread. Oh, and if you’re not interested in high-fiber cinnamon swirl bread (though I don’t know why not!), simply substitute 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour for the 1 cup of Hi-maize in this recipe.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Supermarket whole-grain cinnamon swirl bread, 2g dietary fiber per 1.3-ounce slice, 23¢/ounce

Bake: Homemade high-fiber cinnamon swirl bread, 4g dietary fiber per 1.5-ounce slice, 16¢/ounce

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Liz

    I love cinnamon toast for breakfast, too. Made this loaf today for the second time. Weighed the ingredients (doesn’t get any easier) and let my bread machine do the kneading. The first rise went well, but the top layer of bread dough split during the second rise. I didn’t get any oven spring. Might try 1/4 part Hi-Maize, as PJ mentions in the blog. Couldn’t resist trying a slice tonight. The swirl is beautiful and it tastes great. Will look forward to a slice in the am with a cup of tea! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes and ideas! I LOVE King Arthur :-))

    Reply
  2. thebenefitsoffiber*com

    oh my gosh – this article made my mouth water so badly!

    I am an avid fiber advocate and anything to increase fiber in your diet I support. That is more than half the battle.

    Reply
  3. Jacque

    Could you please post the nutrition information for this recipe?
    I am trying to follow weight watchers and would like to calculate points like the baking sheet does. Thanks!
    Unfortunately we don’t have nutritional information posted for all of our recipes at this time. Please calculate your nutritional information here. ~Amy

    Reply
  4. Helen

    I tried the cinnamon bread recipe and loved. I have a question though about the hi maize. What is in it? The bag says cornstarch, is there anything else in it. I am concerned about sharing it with a friend as he has a number of food allergies. Does any one know if anything else is in it but cornstarch?

    Our Hi-maize Fiber is just a form of cornstarch. This product is processed in a facility that also packages products containing eggs, milk, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. Elisabeth @ KAF

    Thanks,
    Helen

    Reply

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