This past weekend, one of my best friends got married in a gorgeous winter wonderland ceremony. Despite the fact that we had temps in the 50′s, and not a snowflake on the ground (not typical January weather for Pennsylvania), the wedding decorations certainly made it feel like a snowy wonderland. It was a wondeful day, and nothing makes me happier than seeing a friend beem with happiness on her wedding day.
For the morning of the wedding, I willingly volunteered to take care of brunch, because what bride needs another thing to worry about on her wedding day? This cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread was perfect for brunch at the hair salon, alongside fresh fruit, a raspberry coffee cake and of course, mimosas. The bread itself was incredibly soft, and soaked in butter and cinnamon-sugar. The entire thing just melts in your mouth. We snacked on it while we got our hair done, and the girls just went nuts over it. It tastes just like a cinnamon roll, but it’s more fun to eat since you can just pull off a slice (or two, or three….).
Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Yields: one 9 x 5″ loaf
For the dough:
2¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
¼ cup granulated sugar
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
½ tsp. salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
For the filling:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan and heat just until the butter is melted. Set aside and let cool briefly, until the mixture registers 115-125˚ F on an instant-read thermometer. Add the milk mixture, water, vanilla and eggs to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until a soft dough forms. Continue to knead until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as needed 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and is tacky but not sticky. Knead about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. (After the dough has doubled, it can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before proceeding.)
While the dough rises, add the butter to a small saucepan and melt until browned. Set aside. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and mix well.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate. Roll into a ball, cover with a clean towel and let rest for 5 minutes.
Roll the dough out into an approximately 12 x 20-inch rectangle.
Brush the dough with the browned butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough in an even layer. (Don’t be a wuss…use all of it!)
Cut the dough into 6 equal slices, then stack ontop of each other.
Cut the stack into 6 equal pieces again.
Stack all the squares on top of each other and set into the prepared loaf pan. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place, 30-45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Transfer the loaf to the oven and bake 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. (If the top seems to be browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil at the end of baking.) Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan 20-30 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen and carefully turn the loaf out, transferring to a serving plate. Serve warm.
Source: Joy the Baker