Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread + Giveaway Winner

First things first. The winner of my giveaway was comment number 9; Pretty Lashes! Congratulations! You win a copy of 'Indulgence cupcakes: A Fine Selection of Sweet Treats'. Please send me an e-mail ( with your name and address so that I can post the book to you.

True Random Number Generator  9Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Now onto business! 
The business of baking, that is. 
And eating. 
Because obviously if I bake and don't eat, it's a waste. And I'm not wasteful. I was pretty much the opposite of wasteful with this bread because I ate it all myself (which I never do with my baked goods) over the course of a weekend! But me and bread, we've got something special. 

Anyway, I've wanted to make this pretty much since I saw it on Annie's blog. Have I waxed lyrical about Annie yet? If I haven't, let me just take a moment to do so. First of all, she has the same name as my mum which is always a plus. She is also a doctor, has two kids AND pretty much cooks or bakes something new and incredible every day. And then updates her blog at least every couple of days with these wonderful creations and beautiful pictures. She's superwoman right? Yup, I thought so. 

I want to be just like her when I grow up! Except that I'm grown. Dammit, why am I not like her?

Anyway, I've covered my love affair with bread already. Sugar is a given. Cinnamon, you probably know I like from this post so this bread was destined to be made, it was just a question of when. As with all yeast baking, there's a lot of waiting around for rising but it was totally worth it, I'm definitely making it again!

Yield: one 9 x 5" loaf

For the dough:
2¾ cups plain 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
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1 - To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook.  
2 - 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 46-51˚ C on an instant-read thermometer.  (I don't have a thermometer so I let it cool for 5 minutes)
3 - Add the milk mixture, water, vanilla and eggs to the mixer bowl.  
Mix on low speed until a cohesive 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 more
 4 - 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.)
5 - While the dough rises, add the butter to a small saucepan and melt until browned. Set aside.
6 - Combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and mix well.
7 - 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 approximate 12 x 20 inch rectangle.Brush the dough with the browned butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough in an even layer. (Yes really, use all of it. I've reduced the sugar slightly from the original recipe)
8 - Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.  Slice the dough vertically into 6 even strips.  
Stack the strips on top of each other and again cut again into 6 equal slices. 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.
9 - Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4 / 350F.  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.