Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Drum roll please........ Cinnamony Sugar Pull-Apart Breakfast Bread
After seeing not one, but two different blog posts on this particular treat, I just had to make it. And who better to "test it out" on than my in-laws, since they always love our breakfast treats. Trying to describe it without you actually tasting it is difficult, but the best I can explain is a mix between monkey bread and french toast. Yes, it's that good. Seriously.
The really great thing about this recipe is that you don't really need any special tools. Even before I was a "baker" I would have had everything I needed to make this.
First off, you are going to whisk together the whole wheat flour, 3/4 cups of the all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Then, whisk together the eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan you are going to melt together the milk and butter until the butter has just completely melted. Be sure to stir while heating so you don't burn the milk. Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract and stir. Let the mixture stand for two minutes or until it is between 115-125 degrees F.
Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a spatula. After combined, pour in the eggs and stir until the eggs are incorporated into the batter. Just keep on stirring until it is all well combined. After it's well mixed, add the remaining 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour and stir with the spatula until it's well combined (about 2 minutes). It's very very sticky.
Grease a large bowl well (I usually just spray it down really good with non-stick spray) and then place the dough in it to rise. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm space and allow to rest/rise until doubled in size - 1 hour. I put my rising dough in the oven at about 100 degrees (I just turn it on at 350 to warm up for about a minute and a half and then shut it off.... and Lord have mercy please don't forget to shut the oven off or you will have a major nightmare of messed up dough and possibly a melted bowl on your hands). *Joy The Baker says that if you are making this in advance you can refrigerate the dough after this step. I actually disagree with her. I say you go all the way until the dough is ready to bake and then you refrigerate it. The reason is that there is really no reason why you can't do that, and the baking process takes a little while (i.e. bring dough back to room temp. or close to room temp, bake for about 35 minutes, then let cool for about 15 minutes).
While the dough is rising you can mix together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar mixture. Set that aside. Then, melt 4 tablespoons of butter until browned (mess alert: don't do this in the microwave for too long or it could explode... I kinda forgot it could do that, ha!). Set the butter aside. Then grease and flour a regular sized loaf pan (or Baker's Joy it) and set that aside too.
After the dough has finished rising, deflate it and knead 2 tbsp of flour into it. Cover with a clean kitchen towl and let it rest for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured, large work surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Joy says it should be about 20in. x 12 in. I just say get it as big as you can.
Next, use a pastry brush to spread the melted butter across all of the dough. Then sprinkle with all of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Yummy. So I got a little dough cutting happy and cut it before I brushed the butter and sprinkled the mixture... and I'm here to report that it works out fine either way :) But it's definitely easier to do the brushing and sprinkling before you cut it. Slice the dough vertically into six strips of the same size. Then, stack the strips all together and slice that stack into six squares(ish). You should have 36 square ish sized pieces of dough, give or take a few.
Now, take the individual stacks of six and place them into the loaf pan one stack at a time. Now, take a kitchen towl and place it over the loaf pan and allow it to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes until it has almost doubled in size. *After this step, I refrigerated the dough to be ready to bake the next morning. But you could also continue from here and bake immediately after it is finished rising. Just be sure to set out for an hour or hour and a half before you are ready to bake it if you decide to refrigerate it.
I went up to that last step the day before. Then the in-laws came over and the Hubby cooked dinner for us. Roasted leg of lamb with stuffed tomatoes, roasted asparagus, and homemade rosemary bread. To.die.for. Well most of it. Everyone loved the lamb but me. For some reason it was really gamey to me. Weird. Anyways, I loooooved the rest of it. Especially the stuffed tomatoes. I may just have to do a post on them one day. They were ridiculous. Here is a picture of our fest:
Picking back up the next morning, I brought the dough back to room temp. Now time to bake it! Place the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Then, place the loaf pan filled with the yummy looking flip-book of dough in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top edges are very golden brown.
As Joy says, if the top is only lightly browned, the center is still not baked all the way... be patient people!
Remove from the oven and allow to sit out for about 15 minutes. At this point you can make the optional icing. I made it and used it but it definitely wasn't necessary... it just added a little something extra. Mix together the powdered sugar, milk, and orange juice and set aside. You can also add 3 oz. of cream cheese at room temp. if you want it to be a much thicker frosting.
Then, after running a butter knife around the edges, turn the bread onto a plate. Then, if you care, you can invert that onto a serving platter or cake plate for it to be right side up. We were a little impatient and didn't care... we just dug right in!
I piled about 5 pieces up on a plate with the eggs and bacon we ate. After piling up the pieces, I just took a spoonful of the icing and drizzled it on top.
Man... seriously, delicious. Like OMG delicious. Like everyone cleaned their plates delicious. Like, there was a little leftover, I went to take a nap, came back out of the bedroom and the leftovers vanished delicious (yup, I was super sad... but my skinny jeans were oh so happy, they've been workin' hard lately).
I served it with eggs and bacon. Dude... so good.
I hope you enjoyed this! I would definitely give it a try for any sort of special breakfast/brunch occasion. So worth the time you wait for this sucker to rise!
Print this recipe!
Have a great week!