I’m going to be honest here; This bread is not a quick breakfast to make. I started at 7:30 am and we weren’t eating until 9:45. Most of the time is inactive though so don’t worry too much. It requires two dough rises so you have plenty of time to do other things while you’re baking (i.e. Facebook stalking). If you have a stand mixer and a rolling pin, it couldn’t be easier to put together, it’s just a little more time consuming than most breakfasts.
The bread is reminiscent of the inside of a cinnamon roll, but without the icing or caramel pecan topping you may traditionally have. I still prefer cinnamon rolls, but that’s probably because they are full of fatty goodness. In fact, this bread is inspiring me to make some overnight caramel pecan rolls this weekend- YUM!
Cinnamon & Sugar Pull-Apart Bread (makes 1 loaf)
For the Dough:
2 3/4 cups flour, plus 2 extra Tbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package (.25 oz) instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbs ounces unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk ( I used 1%)
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted in a saucepan until browned
In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, beat eggs slightly and set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat melt butter and milk together. Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla. Let mixture stand until it measures 115-125F.
Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix on low speed with the dough attachment. Add eggs and continue to mix until incorporated. Mix in remaining 3/4 cup of flour and continue mixing the dough until it’s evenly incorporated. The dough will be sticky. Move the dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Allow it to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
While the dough rises, mix together sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Melt the additional 4 Tbs of butter in a small saucepan until browned. Set aside. Prepare a 9×5 loaf pan with butter and a light dusting of flour. Set aside.
Once the dough has doubled in size, gently deflate it and put it on a lightly floured surface. Knead in remaining 2 Tbs of flour and cover with the kitchen towel again. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Roll the dough out to a 12×20 rectangle. Use a pastry brush to apply the butter all over the dough. Sprinkle the entire bowl of cinnamon & sugar mixture over the butter.
Slice the dough vertically into 6 long strips. Stack the strips into one pile and cut the pile into 6 parts. Stack all of the small rectangles on top of each other and place them into the prepared loaf plan so they look like pages from a book. Place a kitchen towel over the pan and let rise for 45 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.
After the dough has risen, bake the bread in the oven for 40-45 minutes, checking on it frequently. You want the dough to be cooked in the center, so adjust the time accordingly. If the edges of the bread are getting too brown, you can cover it with foil and continue to bake it normally.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the pan and serve warm.