A few years ago, my Mother-in-law introduced me to suikerbrood. I remember her serving it up thickly sliced on a small plate with tea. My brother-in-law made some comment about either I’d love it or hate it, but he loves it. It turned out I loved it! What is there not to love about bread that is swirled with cinnamon and pockets of sugary goodness?
After my first taste of this bread, I knew I had to find the recipe. I am a researcher by trade, and finding things are my specialty, but I searched for months for Dutch sugar cinnamon bread, but I didn’t find a thing. Why? Because it was Frisian! When I told J, he laughed and said, yes it is Frisian – pfffft!
There’s one recipe out there (that I know of) for Frisian Sugar Loaf – it’s from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete book of breads. I’ve tried this recipe three times and it’s still nothing like the Frisian sugar loaf that we occasionally receive as a treat.
I had to take matters into my own hands, I made a hybrid bread. This hybrid bread was based on the Cuban bread recipe with the cinnamon coated cracked sugar cubes kneaded in. Although the recipe probably strays FAR from the traditional Frisian sugar loaf, it worked for us. It tasted good, and although softer and fluffier than the real thing, we liked it this way. It tasted very similar to a cinnamon bun, but (dare I say it) healthier.
Could it be that the Frisians were the first to bring to us what we now know as cinnamon rolls? Just like the Dutch with their oliebollen (literally translated to as oil balls) are with doughnuts? If it is, there is much to be thankful for!
FRISIAN SUGAR LOAF – SUIKERBROOD
Makes 1 loaf
Adapted from “Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads”, by Bernhard Clayton
- 15 g (1 T) sugar
- 240 ml (1 c) hand-warm water
- 2 t dry active yeast
- 1 t salt
- 375 g (2 ½ c) plain (all-purpose) flour (you may need up to 450 g, 3 c)
- 80 g (½ c) sugar cubes, cracked into halves or quarters
- 1 T ground cinnamon
1. In the bowl of the stand mixer, place the sugar, water and dry yeast and stir until incorporated. Allow to stand 5 minutes.
2. Add the salt to the yeast/water mix and stir.
3. With the dough hook attachment, mix the yeast mix and gradually add the flour until all of it is incorporated.
4. Once the dough is formed, knead for an additional 10 minutes.
5. Cover the bowl with cling film (plastic wrap) and place into a warm spot until double in size, about 60 minutes OR place into the refrigerator for an overnight rise. If doing a cold rise, take the dough out and allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding to step 6.
6. Punch the dough down and flatten to 1 cm (½ inch) thick. Sprinkle over the cinnamon coated sugar cubes, fold the dough and gently knead until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
7. Shape the dough to fit a parchment lined 11 ½ x 21 ½ cm (4 ½ x 8 ½ inch) loaf tin (pan), brush the top of the loaf with water. Place the loaf tin (pan) into a COLD oven. On the shelf directly under the dough, place a dish full of boiling water.
8. Close the oven door and set the oven to 200°C/400°F. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until brown and crusty and when tapped on the bottom, sounds hollow.
9. Remove the loaf and the attached parchment paper from the tin (pan) and transfer to cool on a wire rack. Once cool, remove the parchment paper, slice and serve, enjoy!