Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

 

Happy Saturday! It's been a while since I've posted up a recipe so I thought I'd throw one your way on this Memorial Day weekend! The other day, I had a sudden craving for monkey bread, which for those of you who don't know, is sticky, soft pieces of bread and usually paired with a sweet icing glaze. We have a small Monkey Bread store on the boardwalk nearby and it is just heaven. I actually think I prefer them over Cinnabon! :O

Anyway, I decided to make pull apart bread because... SWEET, CINNAMON-SUGAR BREAD. And you just pull them apart like sheets of paper! I used a slightly adapted recipe from here. I didn't even have the ingredients to make a glaze, but it didn't need it (and you'll feel less guilty). I'm so glad I tried this recipe because it was SO DELICIOUS! So much in fact that it was gone by the end of the night hehe.

My grandma and dad paired it with their morning coffee and tea, but it is also great paired with milk. There's something about pulling cinnamon-sugar bread apart and having a cup of cold milk that just screams KID! It just hits the spot. YUM!

 Yields: One 9x5x3 inch loaf pan

Yields: One 9x5x3 inch loaf pan

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (filling)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (filling)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (filling)

PROCEDURE:

  1. In your stand mixer, mix 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside. Whisk together eggs. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt milk and butter until butter is melted.  Remove from the heat and add water. Let mixture stand for two minutes, or until the mixture registers 120 to 130°F. Add vanilla.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix. Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter. It’ll seem like the dough and the eggs are never going to come together. Keep mixing. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be sticky. Resist the urge to add more flour.
  4. Place the dough is a large, greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.  Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. While the dough rises, prepare your filling. Whisk together the sugar and cinnamon and melt 1/4 cup butter. Set aside. Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.  
  6. Deflate the risen dough and knead about 2 tablespoons of flour into the dough. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out. The dough should be about 12-inches tall and 20-inches long (I used a ruler to measure).
  7. Brush melted butter across all of the dough. Sprinkle with the sugar-cinnamon mixture.
  8. Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips. Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again. Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan, on its side. Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.... UGH I KNOW. We just have to wait a little longer.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown.  A dark, golden brown color will ensure that the center is cooked well.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Invert twice so that it is right-side up on a clean board. Serve warm with coffee, tea, or milk!

TIPS: 

  • I like to activate my yeast before I mix so that it ensures the dough to rise. Whisk yeast into 3 tablespoons of warm water (between 105 and 115°F). Add a pinch of granulated sugar and allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is foamy and frothy. Add to the flour mixture when you're just about to combine both wet and and dry ingredients.
  • My family doesn't like nutmeg so I left that aside. You can add 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg to your cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • When you're just about to stack the squares, it can get VERY sticky and might have a tendency to stick to your countertop. Make sure you are able to lift the dough before you add your filling!
  • You may refrigerate your dough and make the bread a day after - just allow 30 minutes for the dough to thaw on your countertop before rolling it out. Waiting a day also makes it easier (less sticky) when rolling out your dough. But i just couldn't wait...

Best served the day is made... let's be real, will it really last longer than that? Enjoy!