CINNAMON SUGAR PULL-APART BREAD

I’d seen this bread in several places and wanted to try it. Not just because it is beautiful, as you fold pieces of cinnamon-sugar-dusted dough together in a loaf, but also because it is bakes up gooey-ly together in a way that even a pan of cinnamon buns can’t. Several words of wisdom regarding this bread: a) make it for friends, because people will ooh and ah over it, and it is nice to make that happen for people you love and b) don’t use a small loaf pan! I did, and as you will see, it overflowed in a very comical fashion (delicious, yet comical).

Once you tackle the method (sounds complicated, but isn’t), you can make many variations on this (like garlic and cheese, or lemon and ginger).

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Adapted from Joy The Baker

For the dough:
3 c. flour
2 oz. unsalted butter
1/4 c. sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. milk
1/4 c. water
2 large eggs, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla

For the filling:
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 oz. butter, browned

1. Whisk yeast into 3 tablespoons lukewarm water. Add a pinch of sugar and let sit for 5 minutes until it foams and bubbles.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 c. flour, sugar, yeast and salt and set aside.
3. Whisk together eggs in a small bowl.
4. In a saucepan, melt together the milk and butter until butter just melts. Remove from the burner and add water and vanilla. Let it stand for a minute.
5. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Add the eggs and mix into the batter. This will take a bit! Add the remaining flour and mix into a sticky dough.
6. Place dough in a  large greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let it sit in a warm spot until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
7. Deflate the dough and knead 2 tablespoons flour into it. Let it rest for a few minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a large rectangle (try and do 12 x 20 inches). Brush the melted butter across the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
8. Slice the dough vertically into 6 strips and stack them on top of each other. Then slice in 6 equal slices (you end up with 6 stacks of 6 squares). Layer the squares into the loaf pan. Place a towel over the pan and let it rise for about 30 minutes.
9. Preheat over to 350 and bake the loaf for 30 to 35 minutes. Let it rest for 20 minutes or so before you take it out of the pan, or eat it warm straight from the pan!

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