As I type this, there are five guys hanging out in front of our TV watching football and munching on this, and these and these. I love it because it means fall is (almost) here. And, I love it even more because God graced us with cooler temperatures (for Mississippi) so that it actually felt like fall today!! I can't even express my excitement to you through this computer screen. Just imagine a huge wide grin across my face.
This also means I am finally in the mood to post a fall recipe. The ironic thing is, I made this for the first time last Easter. So, really, it's not just for the fall season, it can be enjoyed year round. But, if you live in Mississippi you might want to avoid your oven during the summer...
You will love this bread for breakfast. It's pillowy and sticky and gooey and wonderful. You can somewhat liken it to monkey bread, because the pieces just fall
into out of place as you tug it from the loaf. Your portion, right there, perfectly ready to make your fingers sticky and your mouth wanting more. I'm dead serious. You.will.want.more.
Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
For the Dough:
- 2 ¾ cups to 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup milk (whole or 2%)
- ¼ cup water
- 2 large eggs , at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the filling:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- Measure milk into a microwave safe bowl. Add the butter and heat on high for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir until the butter is completely melted. (Alternatively, heat the milk and butter in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat until butter is just melted.) Set aside to slightly cool.
- In a mixing bowl fitted with the dough hook attachment, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Pour the milk mixture and water into the dry ingredients and mix on low speed, then add the eggs and vanilla and mix until the eggs are fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add more flour, as needed, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm area until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (If using an overnight method, at this point, after the dough is risen, you can wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to finish in the morning. Allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before proceeding. Otherwise, if you wish to make this all in one day, continue on to the next step.)
- After the dough is doubled in size, mix together the 1 cup sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Melt the butter for the filling in a small saucepan until slightly browned, making sure not to burn it. Set aside to slightly cool.
- Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
- Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Cover with a clean towel and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll out to a 12- by 20- inch rectangle. (No worries if it won't stretch to 20-inches, just go as large as you can.)
- Spread the melted butter across the surface of the dough, then sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar mixture. All of it.
- Slice the dough vertically into six equal sliced strips.
- Pile on top of each other.
- Slice into six equal sized squares.
- Layer the dough slices into the loaf pan like a flip book (as Joy the Baker puts it). Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes, or almost doubled in size.
- Arrange a rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Bake the loaf for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 20 to 30 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges and invert onto a large board, then invert again onto a large serving platter. Serve warm.
- This is best the day it's made, but can be stored up to 2 days.
- Source: Adapted from Joy the Baker