After this post I might as well retire from blogging because I don’t know if I’ll ever make anything better. Forget the cinnamon roll! Who needs it when you have cinnamon pull-apart bread with browned butter? It is truly amazing. You need to make this!
Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread
Adapted from Joy the Baker
For the dough:
- 3 cups bread flour, divided
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 room temperature eggs
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the filling:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Zest of one orange (optional)
In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, the yeast and the salt. In a small bowl whisk the eggs. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Remove the pan from the heat and add the water and vanilla. Once the mixture is between 115-125 degrees, add it to the dry ingredients and mix. Then add the eggs and mix until combined. Add 3/4 cups of the remaining flour and stir until a sticky dough is formed. Place the dough in a large, greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Cut the butter into four pieces and place it in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it become light brown in color. (Watch the butter carefully so that it doesn’t get too dark.) Remove the pan from the stove immediately. Browning the butter will give it a deep, nutty flavor. (This technique won’t work with margarine since you’re actually browning the milk proteins in the butter.)
Combine the cinnamon and the sugar in a small bowl. Grease a loaf pan and sprinkle it with the cinnamon sugar. Zest an orange into another small bowl. Set the butter, sugar mixture and zest aside until the dough has risen.
Sprinkle the remaining flour onto a large work area. Once the dough has doubled in size, place it onto the work area and knead a couple of times. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rest for 5 minutes. After it has rested, roll the dough into a 12 x 20 inch rectangle. The dough will be about 1/8 of an inch thick. The bread flour makes this process a lot easier because it has a higher gluten content than regular all-purpose flour, which makes it stretchier. Brush the dough with the butter and sprinkle it with the cinnamon sugar and the orange zest.
Cut the dough lengthwise into strips that are about 1/2 inch shorter than the height of your your loaf pan. A pizza cutter works well for this. Next cut across the width of the dough to form pieces that are no wider than your bread pan.
Place the pieces into the bread pan. Don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be perfect for it to taste perfect! Cover the pan and allow the bread to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the bread on the center rack of the oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, the bread will look like this and you’ll be tempted to pull it out of the oven and eat it – but don’t do it quite yet! Cover the pan with foil and allow the bread to cook for about 15 more minutes. This will ensure that the center of the bread isn’t raw and will help keep the top of the bread from becoming too dark.
Okay, now it’s almost time to eat. First, take time to admire your hard work — because it won’t last long!
We were going to have this for Easter breakfast but I think the Easter bunny came and stole it!