Everyone prefers something a little different in the morning. Some like bagels (oh hey, Gotham). Some prefer cereal (boring). And some are just happy with a fresh glass of orange juice (my dad for the past 20 years). I like anything sweet, doughy and satisfying. Pancakes, muffins, french toast…these will all do. But you haven’t really eaten breakfast – or lived for that matter – until you’ve tried this Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread. The second I saw photos of it, I knew I had to make it as soon as I had a working oven.
I moved into my new apartment downtown about a month and a half ago. Everything seemed perfect…except one little thing. When it came time to test out the oven and the burners, they didn’t work. At all. Panic set in. I started sweating. Well, nothing unusual there, but I was really very concerned about you, my loyal readers, and my own health and well-being.
Thankfully, we had a brand new oven put in because of the serious damage.
Anyways, it was a slow start, but I did eventually get to cooking and baking. And this bread was at the top of my list. When I saw that yeast was one of the ingredients, I knew it would be a complicated recipe, and one that I would need an assistant for. Enter Viewpoints Community Manager Erica. She’s basically a celeb on Viewpoints.com. But in my apartment she does what I tell her to do. She unpacks my kitchen supplies, kneads dough and eats as much Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread as she can fit in her stomach.
I woke up at the crack of dawn (that would be 9:30 on a Sunday morning) to find out that the dough takes 1 hour to rise. Yeah, read that bold print. Making the dough takes the longest, so I’d suggest doing it the night before if you’re a responsible human being. Then you just roll it out and stuff with cinnamon sugary goodness before you bake.
Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Use a 9 X 5 X 3 inch loaf pan
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope fast acting dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg (I didn’t have this so I just omitted. Trust me, it turned out just fine.)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted until browned
- Whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
- In a separate small bowl whisk together eggs.
- Melt butter and then add milk, water and vanilla. Let mixture stand a few minutes, and then pour into dry ingredients.
- Add the eggs. They’ll be tricky to combine, but keep mixing.
- Add the additional 3/4 cup of flour. Mix until you have a sticky ball of dough.
- Grease a large bowl with the vegetable oil and put the dough inside. Cover with Saran wrap and a towel. Store in a warm, dry place – I always store mine in the microwave – for about an hour, or until the ball doubles in size.
This takes a long time. So you might need to make a snack in between. Here is ours.
It’s never too early for nachos…right?
- Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. On your stove top, melt the other 1/2 stick of butter until slightly browned. ‘Mmm smells good.
- Here comes the fun part. Knead the dough with a bit of flour, and then let it rest for a few minutes, covered with a clean towel. Check out my skillful assistant.
- Roll out the dough so it is roughly the size of the pan. It should be rectangular shaped.
- Brush the dough with the melted butter and then sprinkle with the sugar mixture. It looks like a lot. Well, it is. Do what I say and USE IT ALL. Or you will be sorry later.
- Slice the dough lengthwise into about 6 equal sized strips. Then, cut these strips in half and stack them on top of each other, cutting again in thirds or in half, depending on how thick your slices are and how big you want them. This part gets kinda messy, so be prepared.
- Stack the strips, standing up into a greased loaf pan. Joy said to “cut them like a flip-book.” Yeah…whatever that means. Ours wasn’t quite as pretty, but it’s really about the taste, right? They will expand and stick together, so don’t worry about any extra space you might have.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
The original recipe says to turn the loaf pan upside down to remove the bread, but it’s way more fun to just eat it straight out of the pan. Isn’t it always? It’s also more fun to not wait 20-30 minutes for the bread to “rest” before consuming it. Our loaf had plenty of rest while it was rising all morning, so we decided to wait about 20-30 seconds before tearing it apart.
It was warm, gooey, sweet and hands down incredible. Warning: You may attempt to eat the entire loaf in one sitting and begin to feel slightly sick. Trust me, the side effects are worth it. Just be sure to find a large, grassy knoll before attempting any outdoor movement post-breakfast. If you need to find one, just text Erica. She has these locations scoped out.
A special thanks to our guest, Erica, and my roommate, Missy, for providing the snack and general excitement in the morning when I was too hungry to function. Promise I’ll post more frequently now (or at least I’ll try to remember to take photos of my finished products before eating them).