Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tracey's Cinnamon Sugar Pull-apart Bread!

Is it bread? Is it dessert? Is it breakfast? In a word: Yes.

Like tender squashy cinnamon toast or the best cinnamon roll you have ever had, in convenient pull-apart sheaves.

What it is- is awesome with black coffee, any time of day. Also good for making your house smell delicious. I recommend baking cinnamon pull-apart bread regularly if you are selling your house. Don't worry about making too much, I will help you with any leftovers. Heck, I'll bring the coffee.

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
for July's Bread of the Month, Artisan Bakers
adapted by Tracey of Tracey's Culinary Adventures from Joy the Baker (who adapted from Hungry Girl por vida)

Dough
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more if needed)
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Filling
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Beat briefly just to combine. Add the butter and milk to a small saucepan and heat just until the butter is completely melted. Turn off the heat and add the water and vanilla to the pan. Let the mixture cool until it registers about 115-120 F on an instant read thermometer.

Add the eggs to the mixer bowl and turn the mixer to low. Slowly stream the milk mixture down the side of the mixer bowl. Continue beating until the dough comes together. It will probably be quite sticky - add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue kneading on low speed until the dough clears the sides of the bowl (it will stick to the bottom). You want the dough tacky, but not so sticky that you can't handle it. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead briefly then shape the dough into a ball. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray then add the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling by whisking the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Add the butter to a small saucepan and melt over medium-low heat until it is brown and smells nutty - be patient, it may take a few minutes. Set aside.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Press to deflate then cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 12x20 inches (the dough will be quite thin).

Brush the dough with the browned butter then sprinkle it evenly with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. It's a lot of sugar, but use it all.

Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough rectangle vertically into six equal strips.

Stack the strips on top of one another and again cut into six equal stacks.

Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray. Layer the dough squares on top of one another and transfer to the prepared pan.

Cover the pan with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise for 30-45 minutes, or until the dough is puffy, but not necessarily doubled in size.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F. Bake the loaf for about 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. If the top starts to brown too much, you can tent it with aluminum foil; don't be tempted to pull the bread too early or the center may still be raw. (You can use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature if you're concerned.)

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 20 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread then carefully turn it out of the pan. Serve warm.

This bread has been Yeastspotted!
I like the crusty outside pieces, while Charles loves the tender inside pieces. I think I need to bake up some more..