t h e m a y f i l e s is foremost a family blog, chronicling everyday life. Life including natural, healthy eating (with recipes thrown in at random), home educating (with ideas popping up sporadically), an attempt to homestead on .2 acres (with very meager yields), raising 3 of 4 children with a rare genetic disorder, and lots of highly personal family triumphs and failures. You may also find an eclectic array of musings on politics, exercise, sewing, emergency preparedness, backyard chickens, and religion. This blog isn't a campaign to glorify anyone or anything. Just simply a record.


Healthy Holiday Whole Grain Sweet Bread

Naturally Sweetened, Healthy Whole Grain 
Cinnamon Roll Recipe with Glaze
This season I decided to loop my braided bread into a wreath.  The girls and I thought it turned out beautiful.

These are my whole grain take on a recipe I grew up making and delivering during the holidays with my mom "Candy Cane Bread.  I use my basic Whole Grain Bread recipe with just a few alterations.  I think I posted this four years ago, but my recipe may have morphed a bit in the last few years.  The new Xylitol Glaze is a far healthier non-dairy, low glycemic index, low calorie option.

"Candy Cane Bread" (Makes 4-6 Canes)

Whole Grain Sweet Bread Dough:

Combine in Bosch (or similar) Mixer:
9-10 cups of whole grain flour (I put equal parts kamut, spelt and wheat in my grinder and blend them all together) 
3 T saf dry instant Yeast  (make sure you are using a dry active yeast!)

 6 cups Warm Water

Mix, until a paste-like consistency.  Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

2/3 cup Wheat Gluten 
1/3 cup Braggs apple cider vinegar
2 T Salt
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½  cups Honey 

Turn mixer on to speed 1.  Add whole grain flour just until dough begins to pull away from the sides of the mixer.  (Usually around 5-9 cups)  The dough will still be fairly sticky.  Mix on speed 1 or 2 for 5 minutes.  Cover mixer to prevent dough from climbing out of the bowl.  

Unrefined Naturally Sweetened Cinnamon Roll Topping:

Butter  (just enough for a light coating)
Unrefined Natural Sweeteners (click for a mini tutorial of natural sweeteners) of your choice.  I like to combine and liquid and a granular sweetener.

           Great Combinations:
Agave and Sucanat
Barley Malt Syrup and Xylitol
Brown Rice Syrup*  and Sucanat
*I am using this less because of the concerns over arsenic

Divide dough into 4-6 parts.  Roll each section of dough into a long rectangle about 6"x18".   Spread a thin layer of butter on the dough.  Then add a drizzle of a natural sweetener of your choice ( i just make one long swirling "s" the whole length of the dough.  Sprinkle on a granular natural sweetener like sucanat, xylitol or coconut sugar.  Finally sprinkle cinnamon on generously.  

Braiding the Dough

Using kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter, cut strips about 1/2 inch wide along each long side of your dough rectangle.   Cut in about 2" on each side.  You should have about a 2" strip of uncut dough down the center of your rectangle.

Criss cross dough strips, alternating sides. 

 Cover and let rise until they have doubled in size.  This will take anywhere from 30-90 minutes depending on the temperature of the room.  

Preheat oven to 325 degrees convection or 350° bake.  Bread will cook 25 minutes depending on your oven.  When bread tops are golden brown, remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Butter tops of bread.  

Low Glycemic Index, Low Calorie, Non-dairy Xylitol Glaze:

1 cup xylitol
2 Tbsp cornstarch

*For an extra fun holiday feel, color your glaze with a few tsps of fresh spinach juice!

Put xylitol in a blender with cornstarch.  Blend until powdered texture is attained.  Add just enough water for desired spreading consistency.  I just put it in a plastic bag, snip the corner and have a perfect pastry bag.  Spread over bread.  It will melt if hot, but will harden like a regular sugar glaze when cool.


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