November 16, 2012

cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread


This bread is so delicious!  Just look at it!


Yes, it's alot of work, but trust me, it's so worth the effort.

rolling out the dough

spreading the cinnamon-sugar love

stacking the pieces

cutting them again

stacking the pieces in the pan - inverting the pan makes the process a little easier

ready to be popped into the oven!

One of my favourite parts about making this bread is that one of the pieces actually puffed up so much that it literally popped straight out of the pan when it was baking in the oven!  

the final result - mm, mm, good
my piece :)

The pull apart pieces are so fluffy it's like biting into a cloud of sweet, cinnamon-y bread.  Make it.  You'll thank me later.

Here's the recipe!

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
adapted from Joy The Baker


For the Dough:
3  cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted until browned

Directions:

1) Mix dry yeast, pinch of sugar and 3 tbsp warm water in a small dish and let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast is nice and frothy.

2) Combine 2 cups of flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl, set aside.  In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and set aside.  Melt together milk and butter until all the butter has just melted, then remove from heat and add water and vanilla. Set aside.

3) Add the milk and yeast mixtures to the flour mixture and stir with a spatula.  Add the eggs and stir to combine.  This step (incorporating the eggs into the dough mixture) takes a while.  I stirred for about 5 minutes.  Add 3/4 cup flour and combine.  The dough mixture will be sticky, and that's ok.

4) Transfer dough to a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.  Place in a warm location and let it rise (double in size) for 1 hour.

5) While you're waiting for the dough to rise, melt down butter until it has browned and set aside.  In a separate bowl combine sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set aside.

6) Punch the risen dough down and kneed it with an additional 2 tbsp flour.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 5 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a clean work surface that you lightly dusted with flour.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 20" x 12" rectangle.  This also takes awhile because the dough wants to stay small.

7) Using a pastry brush, brush the melted butter onto the dough, then sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly on the dough.  Reserve a little bit of the sugar to sprinkle on the top of the bread right before baking.

8) Slice the dough into 6 strips vertically, and then stack the  6 strips on top of each other.  Slice that stack into 6, so that now you have 6 little stacks of dough.  Grease and flour your pan and place the 6 little stacks into it.  I placed the pan on its side which made this step a little easier.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 30-40 minutes or until almost doubled in size.  Preheat oven to 350F.

9) Sprinkle with remaining sugar and place in oven on the middle rack.  Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the top is very golden brown (to ensure the middle of the bread is cooked).

10) Remove from the oven and let stand for about 20 minutes.  Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto  a clean board.  Place a cake plate on top of the  upside down loaf, and carefully invert so it’s right side up.  Serve warm and enjoy!