Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Bread

I’ve recently tried a new Pinterest recipe: Pull-Apart Cinnamon Bread.  You probably saw it…..maybe you pinned it.  But did you make it?  Oh my, it is so good!  Confession here- I’ve made it 3 times. Yep, it’s just that good! 
Not trying to tempt you or anything, but here it is in all its yumminess….close up:

Not only is it scrumptious- it’s really easy!  And even better- this recipe doubles excellently!! After you mix up the dough and let it rise (I’ll share the recipe below), you simply roll it out like you would for regular cinnamon rolls.

But then instead of rolling it up, you grab a sharp knife and cut the flattened dough into strips (I cut mine into 8 vertical strips, but you could do more or less, depending on the size of your pan.)

Like this:
Photo courtesy of

 Then neatly layer pile the squares into your loaf pans.  Try not to drool on the dough squares.

Sprinkle some more cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the squares.
Let rise again for about 30 minutes, and slide them into the oven to bake.

 Try not to miss them too much while they’re shut up in that prison oven.  When they have served their time in the oven, set them free and self discipline yourself to let them cool for a bit…..Maybe pour some milk or make some coffee to help the time pass while you wait!

Once cooled, so exactly what the name of this wonderful bread suggests- PULL IT APART!!  The smell, the taste…just give in and get carried away. 

Convinced yet?  It’s superly awesome bread!  Just so you’ll stop bugging me, I’ve included the recipe below. It’s long, but that doesn’t mean it’s not easy.  It’s just that in a bread this good, every detail has to be included! 

For the Dough:
2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted until browned

In a large mixing bowl (I used just the bowl of my stand mixer) 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 registers 115 to 125 degrees F.

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 3/4 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’re 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 a 9x5x3-inch  loaf pan.  Set that aside too.

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 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long.  If you can’t get the dough to 20-inches long… that’s okay.  Just roll it as large as the dough will go.  Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough.  Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  It might seem like a lot of sugar.  Seriously?  Just go for it.

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.

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat 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.

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.

I think this 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.
     I’m quite sure that it won’t still be around in 2 days!


Christina said...

Mmm... looks yummu! Lots of steps but yummy!

Have you tried doubling or tripling the recipe and then freezing it at some point to use later? REALLY want to find a recipe/method that works well for this.

Don't mind all the work if I can make 6-8 batches and freeze them for later :)

Leah@HomeandHeartstrings said...

I have doubled it every time I made it- doubles perfectly. Not sure about the freezing part, though. It makes 2 large loaves when it's doubled. Although it looks like a lot of steps, it really isn't- it's just that every detail is there (maybe too many!). I could make it now without the instructions (I'd still need the recipe though!)because the steps are similar to any other bread.

Renee Living Laughing Loving said...

This looks amazing!! I have never made bread before w/o a bread machine, but this looks almost easy enough for me to be able to do! :)

Leah@HomeandHeartstrings said...

Renee, it is so easy! Really, I think you could use any cinnamon bread recipe. When you get to the step where you roll them up, just cut squares instead!

Hannah said...

Hey Leah, i just made this it was easy and very yummy..... It was a hit in our house :)

Leah@HomeandHeartstrings said...

Awesome, Hannah! :)