April 5, 2015

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

Hello all!  I hope you're well, and have some time on your hands, because you definitely want to try this recipe out.  I'd actually come across it twice, via Joy The Baker and Chocolatesuze.  Obviously this was a sign that I had to make it for myself.

The most compelling thing about this bread is how the top gently curls like the pages of a book - the bottom of the bread is syrupy and sticky, the middle is fluffy and the top is gloriously crisp and crunchy.  There's something for everyone and it all tastes amazing!

Recipe adapted from: Joy The Baker
Ingredients - bread (11 x 21 cm (4 x 8 inch) loaf)
430g flour (divided into 310g and 120g portions)
63g white sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (one sachet)
1/2 tsp salt
57g butter
80mL milk
60mL water
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs

Ingredients - topping
250g white sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
45g butter

1. I was using active dry yeast, so I didn't proof the yeast beforehand - however, if you want to make sure that the bread rises and you're not sure if it will without proofing, place your yeast in 3 tbsp of warm water (not too hot!) with a pinch of white sugar.  Let the mixture sit until it's frothy, about 5 minutes.

2. Mix the 310g flour, white sugar, yeast (**if you have proofed the yeast as in step 1, wait until a later step to add it!) and salt in a large bowl - if you're using an electric mixter, use the bowl that comes with it.

3. Place the butter and milk in a microwave safe receptacle and heat in the microwave until the butter has melted.  Mix the water and vanilla in.

4. Pour the milk and butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix.  I just let my mixer do the work with the dough hook attachment.  **If you are using proofed yeast, add it to the dry ingredients along with the milk and butter mixture.

5. Add both eggs, beating them with a fork to break them up a bit, then mix them into the flour mixture.  It may take a while for everything to come together, but keep mixing!  The dough will end up being very sticky.

6. Grease a large bowl with butter (I just used the same bowl as I was mixing in) and put your dough in.  Let it rest for about 1 hour - you want the dough to double in size.  Leave it in a warm place covered with a clean tea towel or with cling wrap.

7. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead a few tablespoons of flour in so that the dough becomes soft rather than sticky.

8. Mix the white sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the topping.  Melt the butter in a separate bowl.

9. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle - as large as you can get it!  Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle the cinnamon mixture evenly on top.

10. Cut the dough into six strips along the length.

11. Stack the strips up one on top of the other, then cut the stack into six sections - you'll have six individual stacks of six squares.

12. Line your loaf tin with baking paper and stack the squares into the tin.  I've seen this done on other blogs with the squares stacked all in one direction in the tin, but that configuration didn't work out with my tin at all!

I think that there's definitely room for experimentation; try cutting the dough into whatever size will fit your particular loaf tin best.

13. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel and let it rise for another 45 minutes, until doubled in size.  While this is going on, preheat your oven to 175 C (350 F).

14. Bake the risen loaf for about 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown.

15. Allow the bread to cool - then tip it out of the loaf tin, peel it apart, and enjoy! I recommend eating this within 1-3 days while it's still fresh.

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