Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread

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First, just let me say, bread is a BITCH to make. The mother of all bitches, this was not easy. Although I also had Kevin popping in and out of the kitchen wanting to help with the ‘fun’ parts (1, he is a child. 2, he never wants to help with anything like, oh say, the dishes) … because browning butter and mixing ingredients is funnn. Hey, so are knives, go play with those. Seriously, he is a 5 year old.

This was way more time consuming than I thought it was going to be; and I am one impatient lady. Let sit for 5 minutes, cover and let sit for 35 mins, let cool for 20 mins, blah blah, blah. ALso, I had to actually borrow flour from my neighbor. “Hi! I’ve lived here for 8 months and never acknowledged you or your live in girlfriend who enjoys screaming at you most weeknights around 4am…can I borrow a 1/4 cup of flour?” Not awk at all. 

Borrowing that 1/4 of flour is worth it though. The end result is truly GLORIOUS. This bread hits all the comfort spots in my soul (and tummy).  It’s filled with cinnamon and sugar. You pull it apart in sheets.  Make this.  Make it and eat it all.  Make it and eat it all all all all all… then you will know the true definition of a fatty. Hi hello

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

Makes: one 9x5x3-inch loaf
 
For the Dough:
3  cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 oz. unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (from Trader Joe’s is the bomb!)
 
For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 oz. unsalted butter, melted until browned

Also, you need lots of bowls for this recipe; I dirtied soooooo many dishes. Did I get any help cleaning them? Annoying.

One thing I do love about this is that it didn’t require me to use a mixer or bread hook or any of that nonsense. AND ALSO, I used an empty cucumber vodka bottle as my rolling pin. What the hell happened to mine?? no clue. 

So, yeast and I, we seriously hate each other. We don’t have a good history. Actually there is really no history there, this is the first time I’ve sacked up and tried to make bread from scratch. This is a newly developed hate. I predict our relationship will continue to be rocky. I had to use three envelopes to get a successful batch made.  As a fail-safe, BUY EXTRA PACKETS.  To activate yeast, whisk  into 3 tablespoons of warm water (faucet on hot, basically).  Add 1 tbsp sugar and allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is foamy and frothy. Set aside.

In a larger mixing bowl whisk together 2 cups flour (NOT ALL YOUR FLOUR), sugar, & salt. Add yeast; set aside.

Whisk together eggs and set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has just melted.  Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix.  Add your whisked eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter.  I freaked (doesn’t take much) because the eggs seemed soupy and it felt like they would never mix with the dough.  Silly Bets, keep stirring.  Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and mix with spatula for another few minutes.  The mixture will be sticky and you will think to yourself “no fucking way this is too sticky”, but that’s just right.

Place the dough is a large,  greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and a clean (or not, will anybody really know?) kitchen towel.  Allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour (this is where I started to get super impatient) While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling.  FYI, I used pumpkin spice instead of nutmeg because, well, I didn’t have any nutmeg. Set aside.  Then melt 2 ounces of butter until browned.  Properly browned butter takes so much babying. I just want it to be brown.  Set aside.  Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch  loaf pan.  Set that aside too. (again, so many dishes…such a pain in my ass).

Once your dough has risen knead about 2 tablespoons of flour into it.  Cover with a clean (again, clean is optional) kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes.  On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin (aka vodka bottle) to roll the dough out.  The dough should be about 12 x 20, but mine ended up more like 10 x 15; ended up just fine. I’m great at just going with the flow. Use a pastry brush (or spatula) to spread melted butter across all of the dough.  Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  It might seem like a lot of sugar. It is. It’s awesome.

Slice the dough vertically, into seven equal-sized strips.  Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again.  You’ll have six stacks of six squares.  Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book.  Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size. THE WAITING IS SO ANNOYING, I just started drinking at this point.

Preheat to 350 degrees.  Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

I would suggest having 10 – 15 people over when you make this; it’s the only feasible option to keep yourself for entire the entire thing. 

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