The joy of a good piece of cinnamon bread

Published 8:45 pm Friday, July 8, 2022

Every Little Thing, by April Jeppson

When I was little, the town I grew up in had a bakery. I remember going there as a child and loving the smell of the fresh baked bread and sweets. That was the place to go if grandma couldn’t bake it for you. Today, I don’t need to go to a bakery if I’d like a cookie or a fresh loaf of bread.

April Jeppson

Nowadays, grocery stores and even gas stations have delicious fresh-baked goods. I discovered the best soft baked chocolate chip cookies at a gas station just a few months back. I couldn’t believe how good they were, and they were hiding right in plain sight next to the checkout counter. 

I’ve been to some fancy grocery stores over the years — you know the ones with carpet and soft music? They have treats and food from all over the world. There are so many options and choices available. Then you have the large truck stops with daily delivery of the softest glazed donuts. It would be easy to think that bakeries are a thing of the past. Who needs a dedicated baker when you have access to so much goodness at other places? 

I do. I need the bakery, and I’ll tell you why.

My hometown still has a bakery. It’s not the same one I grew up with; in fact, there were a few years when there was no bakery there at all. I say “few years,” but it could have been five or 20 years, I don’t know the specifics because I was a child and didn’t pay that close of attention — or rather I’m April and sometimes I just don’t pay attention. 

The donuts and treats at our bakery rival any you’ll find in larger cities. It’s a real gem in a town of only a few hundred people. But I’m not writing this about some donut. On a side note, I would totally spend 600 words writing about a good donut. Or a good sandwich, or soup, or frankly, if you know me at all, I’ll talk your ear off with contagious enthusiasm about almost any food that I found to be crazy delicious. 

I’m writing about their cinnamon bread. 

You guys, it’s so good. When I go up north and stay with my folks, I’ve begun to look forward to it the way I look forward to family taco night or my father’s fish fry. It’s become a staple. In the morning when I begin the “what’s for breakfast cupboard opening routine,” my first door to open is the one that houses the bread. I’m looking for a loaf of bakery fresh cinnamon bread, cut into 1-inch slices. 

The bread is so thick, it barely fits in the toaster. But as it’s cooking, you can hear the sugar sizzle as it’s caramelizing on the top of the slice. The smell is intoxicating as it not only fills the kitchen but gets my kids to pop their heads up from the front porch and ask if there’s more. Applying butter to the warm slice and allowing it to seep into each little nook … 

I love cinnamon toast. I’ve purchased it at a few different places and tried all sorts of recipes. They all smell really good when you’re cooking them, but the flavor just isn’t there when it’s time to take a bite. This is the first loaf that I’ve ever had where I didn’t feel compelled to sprinkle additional cinnamon and sugar on the bread. It’s perfect with just a little melted butter.

I’ve already eaten half a loaf myself since I’ve gotten back to my place. This weekend I’m looking forward to turning a loaf into french bread. I purchased five loaves to take home with me, and I have zero regrets or shame about this. It honestly might be one of the better life choices I’ve made lately. 

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.