This is one of those recipes that was love at first sight. As soon as my eyes fell upon the picture of this bread on Joy the Baker, I wanted it on a plate in front of me, immediately. Like a lot of recipes though, it somehow found its way onto the back burner and I just got around to making it last week. It was absolutely, totally, 100% worth the wait. This bread tastes like the inside of a cinnamon roll. In retrospect, I would have drizzled this bread with a cream cheese icing. But even without it, ah-mazing. This is the perfect bread to serve to house guests, or for something special on Christmas morning.
Making the accordion-like bread is actually pretty simple…
First, get your dough ready and once it has risen, roll it out into a 12×20-inch rectangle.
Brush it all over with your butter, then sprinkle on alllll of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Slice into 6 strips (a pizza slicer is great for this job!)…
Then stack them on top of each other…
Then slice it the other way 6 times again, so you have 6 stacks of squares (Joy has a great photo of this step). You layer it into the loaf pan cut edges up, and then let it rise again…
Then bake it up into the most gorgeous loaf of bread you have ever seen.
Now that fall is on the doorstep, you can expect many more bread recipes coming your way!
Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Yield: One 9×5-inch loaf
Prep Time: 3 hours | Bake Time: 30 to 35 minutes
For the Dough:
2¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
¼ cup granulated sugar
2¼ teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
½ teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
¼ cup water
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted until browned
1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside.
2. Whisk together eggs and set aside.
3. 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 registers 115 to 125 degrees F.
4. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter. The eggs will feel soupy and it’ll seem like the dough and the eggs are 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.
5. Place the dough is 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’re using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before following the roll-out directions below.
6. While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon for the filling. Set aside. Melt 2 ounces of butter in a saucepan until browned. Set aside. Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Set that aside too.
7. Deflate the risen dough and knead the remaining 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 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long. Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough. Sprinkle with all of the sugar and 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. You’ll have six stacks of six squares. Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book. 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.
9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown. The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw. A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well.
10. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 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 with coffee or tea.
11. The bread is best served the day it’s made, but it can also we wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.
(Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker)