But oh...this bread. It looked so incredible I had to give it a try. After making this four times I finally got the hang of kneading. The dough failed before I even got to roll it out the first time, the next two I finished but weren't quite perfect, and the last one was great. This recipe only has one minute of kneading, so I realize a 25 percent success rate is somewhat pathetic. Oh well. None of mine rose as much as the bread on 'Top with Cinnamon' where I got the recipe from, but it's so darn amazing I don't even mind. First of all, pull apart bread is fun. Everyone loves fun food. Secondly, every piece is like the inside of a cinnamon roll. Sometimes I feel like the outside of cinnamon rolls are wasted bites. I just want the inside, and I'm trying to quickly get the other part over with. Other examples of this: pecan pinwheels, grilled cheese sandwiches, pop tarts. It's amazing the extent to which I analyze food.
It seems like there are many steps to this recipe, and don't get me wrong, there are. However, if you aren't a terrible kneader like myself, this recipe is relatively simple and made from things you probably already have on hand. By the third loaf I felt like a pro! Enjoy!
Recipe from Top With Cinnamon
and Inspired by Joy the Baker's Cinnamon-Sugar Pull apart bread
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp dried active yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup butter, melted
For the Glaze
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
**I found the pictures of the process extremely helpful, but unfortunately I made this at night all three times, so phone pictures will have to do for now!
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached, place the cornstarch, sugar, yeast, salt and 2 cups of flour.
Heat the milk and butter together in a small saucepan until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and add the water. Let this cool for about a minute, then add the vanilla, and pour all the liquid into the bowl with the flour. Stir this all together until all the dry ingredients are moistened.
Start the mixer on a low speed as you add the eggs one at a time until they're just incorporated. Stop the mixer and add 1/2 cup more flour to the bowl. Mix again at low speed for about half a minute. Add 2 more tbsp of flour and mix in on medium speed until you get a smooth, slightly sticky dough (about 45 seconds).
On a work surface sprinkled with 2 tbsp of flour, knead the dough until it's not sticky (about 1 minute). Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl and cover it with cling film. Leave the dough to rise in a warm place until it's doubled in size which should take about an hour.
While the dough rises, make the filling by combining the dark brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch in a small bowl.
Once the dough is ready, lightly flour your work surface and gently tip the dough onto it, sprinkling a little more flour on top of the dough. Roll the dough out into roughly a 40 x 40 cm square, then brush about 2/3 of the butter over the entire surface of the dough.
Sprinkle 3/4 of the filling mixture evenly on top of the butter on the dough, then roll the dough tightly into a log.
Place the log horizontally on your work surface. Take a piece of thread and place it vertically on your work surface. With the thread still vertical, place one end of the log on top of the middle of the thread. Move the thread to the left or right, so it is still under the dough, and is 1 cm in from the end of the log. Take the ends of the thread and hold them above the log. Cross them over each other once and pull them away from each other until the thread has cut through the dough completely.
**This description confused me. You are basically tying a knot over the dough and pulling it tight until it cuts through. Then you tie another knot...and another. Repeat until you've cut all the dough into 1 cm thick slices.
On a piece of baking paper, use a rolling pin to flatten each slice to 3-4 mm thick *** I used the lazy method which I like to call steam rolling. Flattened them all at once! Brush the top of each flattened slice with a little of the remaining melted butter, ans sprinkle on about 3/4 tsp of filling mixture. Place them on top of each other so you have 4-5 stacks each containing about 5 slices.
Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place your stacks of dough into the greased loaf pan, cover loosely with clingfilm, and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes (I preheat the oven for a few minutes, turn it off, and then put the bowl in there with the door cracked..pictures show my before and after).
Bake the bread for 25-35 minutes when it should be golden brown on top. Let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Meanwhile make the glaze by stirring the vanilla then the hot water, a little at a time into the powdered sugar in a small bowl until you get a slightly runny icing.
Run a butter knife around the edge of the pan and gently tip the loaf out onto the wire rack. Put the bread the right way round again and then brush with the glaze.