I thought I'd brighten up your Monday with an insanely amazing and delicious recipe. This, my friends, is the utterly delectable Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread.
Yep, cinnamon, sugar and bread all in one crisp, golden and crunchy loaf. Feel free to drool!
Now, no beating around the bush here. This is a difficult recipe and takes a lot of time overall to complete so it's something you really ought to plan in advance. However, the results are more than worth the effort and the feeling of satisfaction you get when your dough rises will leave you feeling like a cross between Julia Childs and Cake Boss!
I came across the picture on Pinterest and traced the recipe to the amazing blog, Joy The Baker. However, the original recipe is measured in cups and isn't quite as step-by-step as I would need it to be so, I spent some time deciphering, ordering and converting it to make it understandable to other novice bakers like myself!
I'm going to focus on making the dough first which is, arguably, the hardest part. You can double or triple this recipe to make multiple loaves or get creative and make bread rolls, cinnamon buns, garlic dough balls (though maybe leave out the vanilla extract for more savoury treats!) and more!
For The Dough
I strongly recommend weighing everything first. It will save you time and you won't get flustered searching for ingredients as you go.
Selection of Bowls
344g Plain Flour (Measure out 250g and 94g separately as you will need to add them at different times.)
50g Granulated Sugar
1 Sachet (7g) Fast-Action Dried Yeast
1/2 tsp Salt
80ml Full Fat Milk
In a large mixing bowl, combine 250g flour, 50g sugar, one sachet of yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of salt together using a wooden spoon. Set this aside and, in a separate bowl, whisk the two eggs together.
In a small saucepan, melt 57g butter with 80ml full fat milk over a low heat. We don't want this to boil. Remove from the heat once fully melted and stir in 60ml water and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Leave this aside for about 2 minutes to cool slightly.
Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and pour in the butter and milk mixture. Stir this up using a wooden spoon until almost all of the flour is incorporated into the liquid. Your spoon should now be covered in a ball of sticky dough.
At this point I switched to a spatula and scraped everything off the wooden spoon. Don't waste any dough! Add the eggs now and keep mixing until the eggs and dough come together. This takes ages and your arm does get very tired but, everything will eventually combine!
Add the remaining 94g of flour at this stage and keep stirring for around 2-3 minutes or until all of the flour has disappeared. You should now have something that resembled a very sticky ball of dough!
Grease the base and sides of a large bowl and carefully transfer the dough to this. You want the bowl to be as big as possible to allow the dough to rise properly and evenly. Cover this with cling film and a clean tea towel and place somewhere warm. I put mine beside the radiator which was on at the time.
The dough takes around 1 hour to double in size but, just eyeball it yourself.
Once your dough has roughly doubled in size, flour your work surface and deflate the dough. This literally just means punching it and pressing down on it to get rid of any air build-up. Knead around 2 tablespoons of flour into the deflated dough. Kneading is a tiring but necessary exercise and you should knead for around 8-10 minutes. I haven't kneaded bread since Home Economics in school so, I found this video helpful for getting the technique right.
Now, you can proceed in one of two ways. If you want to work with your dough immediately, go to Step 5a. If you want to refrigerate your dough for a few hours (which makes it easier to roll) or overnight, go to Step 5b.
Step 5a: Working with the Dough Immediately
Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest on the counter for approximately 30 minutes. Deflate again if necessary and proceed with the rolling-out instructions in Step 6.
Step 5b: Refrigerating the Dough for Later Use
Wrap your kneaded dough in some cling film and place on a shelf in the fridge. You can do this overnight if necessary but, I just did it for a few hours while I went to the gym. When I removed it, I deflated it again and let it sit for 30 minutes under a kitchen towel before rolling it out.
Lightly flour your work surface, the dough and your rolling pin and set to work at creating a sheet of dough that is approximately 12 inches tall by 20 inches long. It should be around a centimetre thick. I'm ghastly at rolling so, my shape wasn't completely uniform which I would definitely strive harder for next time.
For The Cinnamon Sugar
200g Granulated Sugar
Grease and flour a loaf tin that is around 9 inches x 5 inches x 3 inches and put to one side. In a small saucepan, melt 57g butter over a low heat until browned (I forgot the "browned" part but, it made no difference to the result!).
In a mixing bowl, combine 200g sugar with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg. Make sure that the spices are evenly spread through the sugar as you don't want one area of the bread to be unbearably flavoured!
Spread the melted butter all over your rolled out dough using a pastry brush. Make sure to coat every last inch in butter as the cinnamon sugar won't stick otherwise. Liberally sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the dough. Don't hold back. This was never going to be a healthy recipe.
Cut the dough vertically into six relatively even sections. This will be easier if your dough is uniform in shape. Stack the strips on top of each other and slice the stack again into six even-ish pieces. Pick up a bundle of layers and pop them into the tin so that they look like the pages of a book from the top.
More rising is needed unfortunately, so place it under a towel somewhere warm for 30 minutes. It should roughly double in size. While it is rising, preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F.
Once the bread has noticeably risen, place it in the oven for 30-35 minutes. The top should be extremely brown to ensure that the bread is cooked through.
When you think it looks done, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 30 minutes. Use a butter knife to loosen the bread from the tin and either pick the load out with your hands or turn out onto a plate and the turn it right side up.