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Gingerbread Spice Loaf

The warm spices and molasses taste of gingerbread transforms this zigzagging bread loaf into an instant holiday classic.
Gingerbread Spice Loaf
Yield 1 (8½ x 4½-inch) loaf

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups cups (313 to 344 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup (55g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (7.5g) kosher salt
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) Platinum Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (4g) ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (4g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1g) ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1g) ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup (76g) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup (60g) water
  • 1/4 cup (60g) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons (42g) unsulphured molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) vanilla extract
  • 2 large (100g) eggs, room temperature

Filling

  • 3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (73g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (4g) ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.5g) kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1g) ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1g) ground cloves

Molasses Glaze

  • 3/4 cup (90g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) whole milk, cold
  • 1 teaspoon (7g) unsulphured molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 1cup (125g) flour, brown sugar, salt, yeast, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves by hand.
  • In a small saucepan, heat cubed butter, water, milk, and molasses over medium-low heat until butter is melted and an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm butter mixture and vanilla to flour mixture; using the paddle attachment, beat at low speed until combined. Add eggs, and beat until well combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 1 1/2 cups (188g) flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  • Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft, sticky dough forms, 5 to 7 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and dough hook; add up to remaining 1/4 cup (31g) flour, 1 tablespoon (8g) at a time, if dough is too sticky. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 35 to 50 minutes.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and gently press into an 8x6-inch rectangle. Loosely wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  • Spray an 8½x4½-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  • Make the filling: In a medium bowl, combine room temperature butter, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Using a silicone spatula, press and stir together until well combined.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a12x10-inch rectangle (about ½-inch thick). Using a small offset spatula, spread room temperature butter mixture onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border around edges. Using a knife or pastry wheel, cut dough into 4 (10x3-inch) strips. Starting at one short end of prepared pan, arrange 1 dough strip in a zigzagging ribbonlike pattern, leaving about ½-inch gap between dough and long sides of pan. Repeat with remaining dough strips.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Loosely cover with foil, and bake until top and sides are golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 20 to 25 minutes more. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Make the molasses glaze: (makes 1/3 cup) In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients until smooth and well combined. Drizzle immediately over cooled loaf.

Notes

Recipe featured in Bake From Scratch magazine.