I recently read that “cinnamon bites and kisses simultaneously”, which is a pretty good way to describe the warm, sweet taste of cinnamon. It is equally at home in sweet and savory dishes, and many people attribute health benefits to this popular spice. Cinnamon partners perfectly with bread in my book, whether in the form of simple cinnamon sugar toast or a tender homemade cinnamon twist.
Greenlee’s Bakery in San Jose, California raises the combination of cinnamon and bread to an art form. Real butter, fresh milk, eggs, and generous swirls of cinnamon make this a moist, tender, incredibly delicious bread. The family owned bakery has been in operation since 1924 when Emmett Greenlee started offering baked goods in his coffeehouse His son later assumed responsibility for the bakery. In 1981, Norbert and Rosalinda Geldner purchased the business. Norbert came to the United States from Germany in 1967, and Rosalinda immigrated from Mexico when she was 12 years old. They brought their experience from a bakery they had previously owned, and also Norbert’s recipe for cinnamon bread. As the word spread about the out-of-this-world cinnamon bread, the bakery’s operation shifted from a heavy focus on wedding cakes to a concentration on cinnamon bread. The bakery produces about 2,000 loaves per week to service local customers and farmers’ markets, and that production level escalates during holiday seasons.
We first tasted the cinnamon raisin bread right out of the package–heavenly! The next taste test was buttered cinnamon raisin toast, which was also stellar. The bread toasted beautifully with a crisp-tender texture and plump raisins. I’ve seen several recommendations for Greenlee’s cinnamon bread French toast, and that may well be on the menu this week.
Greenlee’s website has a link to an ordering site, which sadly did not work as I was writing this, but hopefully it will be operating soon. In the meantime, check with your upscale market to see if they have Greenlee’s bread in stock. This cinnamon raisin bread should be on your must-try list!