Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

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After all of my holiday baking, I felt a little baked-out. The mad dash to get everything done in time, on top of homework, school, and my job left me feeling a little worn out, to say the least. So for the past week, I sat back, recuperated, and enjoyed being fed the traditional Christmas Eve, First Christmas Day, Second Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve dinners by my mother-in-law. That’s not to say I was a complete free-loader (I did help out!), but I didn’t do much baking. However, I found my mornings, in particular, lacking the fresh baked goodness of a homemade breakfast. The yogurt cups just weren’t cutting it. So for the New Year, I decided to break out an old recipe I’d had my eye on for ages, but just never seemed to get around to making. It’s still cold outside, but the mornings are a little warmer with some fresh from the oven cinnamon-sugar pull-apart bread!

Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Yields one 9″x5″ loaf

Ingredients:

For the bread:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 heaping tsp. dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp. (57 grams) butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. cinnamon
4 tbsp. (57 grams) butter
Start by prepping your yeast. In a cup add a couple tablespoons warm (not hot) water to your yeast, and stir until there are no dry lumps. Set the yeast aside activate for about 5-10 minutes, or until a froth forms on the surface. While the yeast is activating, melt the butter in a small sauce pan and add the milk. Stir until the milk and butter are no longer separated, and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and sugar until the two are mixed. Add the butter/milk mixture to the flour and sugar, along with the water, vanilla extract, eggs, and yeast/water mixture. With a large spoon, stir until a dough forms, using the back of the spoon to gently knead the ingredients together. Once the dough has formed, continue kneading with the spoon for an additional 3-5 minutes. If the dough remains a little sticky, and isn’t pulling away from the sides, add a little bit of flour until you get the right consistency. Lightly grease a bowl and set your dough aside in it (with a towel over top) to rise in a warm place until it has roughly doubled in size (about an hour).

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Once the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and roll it out into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. You want it to be roughly 12″x20″ so the pieces will be big enough once they’re cut. Melt your butter and spread that over the dough. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkle that over the buttered dough. Be sure to use all of the cinnamon and sugar, even though it might seem like a lot, as it will make the center extra ooey-gooey (in a good way, of course!). Cut the dough into six approximately even parts along the 20″ side. Stack the pieces, and cut those into six parts along the 12″ side. Finally, stack all of the pieces you just cut onto one another, and set into a lightly greased 9″x5″ loaf pan. Cover with a towel and set aside to rise for an additional 35-45 minutes, or until it fills out the pan.

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Preheat your oven to 350* Fahrenheit (175* Celsius). Transfer your loaf to the oven and let bake for 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven, cover with tinfoil, and let bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The bread has a total bake time of about 30-35 minutes, but I found leaving it uncovered the entire time made it more prone to burning around the edges, or me removing it early before the center had baked through. Let the bread cool in its pan for about 10-15 minutes before removing it to a dish.

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Happy baking!

Source:
Recipe slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats

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