I think it’s time we have a little chat. Are you okay with that? Great.
Sometimes I get to this hour of the night – 11:30 or so – and remember I haven’t prepared a blog for tomorrow.
Oh, side note, I schedule my posts. See, (another) truth is I’m not awake when most of you read this little blog. Hey, are you up as I write them? Okay then, we’re even.
Anyway, at this point, I just want to sit back finish my glass of pinot noir, watch a little rerun of The Real Housewives of New York (please, don’t act like you don’t watch) and then climb into bed. A simple, Thursday night. Right?
But no, I must write something witty about something tasty. Obviously, I can’t disappoint all five of my fans.
And so, I write. And most days, you wouldn’t be any the wiser. But today involved my first trip to Wegman’s, a trip to Lowe’s (which is very stressful for me), a run to the post office and a big house clean. So I am tuckered out. And that bed is calling.
And so I write. And so we chat. And so this will have to do for Fresh Baked Friday. And above all, you are now the wiser. And I’m fully exposed.
In any event, you are still getting a delicious recipe out this. Cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread. I’m pretty sure the name speaks for itself.
If only I had a piece or two to go with this wine and…
Look at that. Wine is finished, show is over and I’m going to bed. Oh, the clock now reads 12:51. Sigh. Maybe next week I’ll plan better.
Probably not. Happy weekend!
For the Dough…
2 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
⅓ cup whole milk
¼ cup water
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Filling…
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted until browned
**Note: When I made this, I used a bread machine to make the dough. I plan on making the dough by hand soon and will update the directions should I make any changes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Set aside.
Whisk together eggs and set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has just melted. Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract. Let mixture stand for a minute or two, or until the mixture reaches 115-125F.
Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. Add the eggs and stir until incorporated. It will feel soupy and seem like the dough is never going to come together. Keep stirring.
Add the remaining ¾ cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be sticky. That’s just right!
Place the dough in a large, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
**The dough can be risen until doubled in size, then refrigerated overnight for use in the morning. If you are using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before following the roll-out directions below.
While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling. Set aside.
Melt 2 ounces of butter until browned. Set aside.
Grease and flour (this is important… trust me!) a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
Deflate the risen dough and knead about 2 tablespoons of flour into the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes.
On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out. The dough should be about 12 inches high and about 20 inches long. Don’t stress too much about this!
Use a pastry brush to spread the melted butter all over the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture on top. Don’t skimp. Use it all. You only live once.
Slice the dough vertically into 6 equal strips. Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stacks into 6 equal pieces. At this point, you should have 6 stacks of 6 squares, all about the same size. Layer the stacks into the loaf pan like a flip-book. Pour any sugar that fell off on top. Again, you only live once.
Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow to sit in a warm place for 30-45 minutes or until almost doubled in size (yes, again!).
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown (it took mine closer to 45 minutes). A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto a clean board. Place a cake stand or cake plate on top of the upside down loaf and carefully invert so it’s right side up.
Serve warm. Trust me, makes it that much better!
Source: Joy the Baker