23 March 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Leaves Pull-Apart Bread

See the burnt tops? That's what happens when you don't have a proper oven. Other than that, it was delicious and flaky. 

I love to bake, but I'm not the best baker. In fact, I'm almost bad. The fact that I don't own an oven makes the situation even worse. I bake everything in a small counter top oven that my mom bought years ago. To make it even more embarrasing, I have to wrap a towel around the oven before baking anything. Otherwise, the heat leaks and cakes end up burnt on the outside and raw on the inside. There, I said it. That's my most embarrasing cooking secret.

Now that I got that out of system, lets move on...

During the past few days I've seen this recipe everywhere. Since my mom loves Cinnamon Rolls, I thought this would be a good idea to surprise her when she comes home from work tonight. It has the same flavors and almost the same method, but assembled in a new way.

This Bread is so great for brunch. You can just put it on the table and let people pick on it (not suitable for germp hobes). You can prepare a simple Lemon and Cream Cheese Frosting to put on top. I saw this recipe first from here, and you can also find it here.

There are many versions on the internet. I made my own version by using Vegetable Shortening instead of Butter. It makes a big difference in terms of the texture. The bread is flakier when using shortening. Another change is that I used less sugar and butter for the filling. I have a problem with overly sweet stuff. 

Sweet layers of Bread. 

For the Dough:

2 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 ounces Vegetable Shortening (or butter)

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup water

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 tsp Flour

-In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar and salt.  Set aside.
-Whisk together eggs and set aside.
-In a small saucepan (or microwave), melt together milk and vegetable shortening until it has just melted.  Remove from the heat and add vanilla extract.  Let mixture stand for a minute or two until it cools a bit. 
-Warm the water for 20 seconds in the microwave (or until it reaches 110 degrees), pour the yeast and mix. Set aside for 3 minutes. 
-Pour the milk-shortenening mixture and the yeast into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula (or mixer).  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 (or in your mixer) for about 2 minutes.  The mixture may be sticky.  

-Place the dough is a large,  greased bowl.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel.  Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. I like to warm the bowl and towel that I'm going to use. It helps the yeast grow faster and create an airy dough.   

*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 and cinnamon for the filling.  Set aside.  Melt 2 ounces of butter until browned.  Set aside.  Grease and flour a 9×5x3-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. Mine was huge!  

-In a separate bowl mix together the filling ingredients. Put it on top of the dough as pictured below and start spreading it with your fingers. Press it down a little.  

-Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips.  Stack the strips on top of one another. After doing that, if the strip of dough ends up being too long for the pan you have (it happened to me), cut it in half and place one half on top of the other. Then slice the stack into six equal slices once again.  You’ll have six stacks.  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.
Cut into six strips. 

Stack them on top of each other.

If the strips are too long for your pan, cut them in half and stack them once again. Getting 12 strips high instead of 6. 

In the baking pan once the dough has risen a second time. 

-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 (don't let it burn like I did).
-Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes (if you can).   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.  
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.

Fresh and warm from the oven.


Indie.Tea said...

I totally understand! My oven is terrible too...
But you did a great job with the cinnamon pull-apart bread - it looks perfect, really delicious...

Vivienne said...

ohhhh now i reallly got to get my hands on this bread!! yours turned out reallly good despite your counter oven!
yeah i have a problem with overly sweet stuff as well...im all for slightly sweet treats!

grace said...

Haha! it looks so bizarre before you bake it! bet it tasted absolutely fantastic though, somehow in the oven it transformed into flaky crispy goodness

Yadi I. said...

Vivienne: You have to make this bread, it's amazing!

Grace: It does look weird before baking it. That's why I liked it, haha.

Indie.Tea: Thanks for the compliment!

Kelly@TheMeaningofPie said...

I think this is GORGEOUS! I love it. Seems like you could squeeze an awful lot of sugar and cinnamon in there.

Yadi I. said...

Thank you!!!

I will be making this same bread, but with oranges, this week. Can't wait!

what katie's baking said...

i've never made pull-apart bread, but yours looks fantastic.

Yadi I. said...

What Katie's Baking:
Thanks for the nice comment! Try the bread some time.

Amanda said...

This recipe looks amazing; but, I have a question. The first step says to mix the flour, sugar, yeast, etc together in a bowl. Then, a few steps later you say to mix the yeast and water and let sit for 3 minutes. Does the recipe call of 2 envelopes of yeast or is the inclusion of yeast in the first step a typo?
Thanks for any help!

Amanda said...

The filling also calls for nutmeg but isn't listed in the ingredient list. What measurement did you use? Sorry for all the questions, this just looks like a great recipe that I can't wait to make!

ShopCookMake said...

It was a big typo! Thanks for pointing it out. The yeast should NOT be mixed with the flour first. I have edited the procedure. It should be clear now.

Yadi I. said...


Nutmeg is totally up to you, that's why I left it in the ingredients list. But I didn't use it in mine.

Amanda said...

Thanks so much! My dough is about to go in the oven. Can't wait to see the finished product!

Yadi I. said...

Please do post pictures!!!

Alina said...

Wow I have never seen anything like that before! Looks fantastic! My Mom uses quite an old oven too - we used to bake together when I was still living with parents. We could never bake a decent meringue, for example. But some of the things from Mom's oven are so much better than from mine. Baked chicken breasts, for example. I don't know why this happens!

Taste Junction said...

So glad to have across your blog through twitter. Your pics are just gorgeous!! I was struck by this recipe since I too had attempted it, http://tastejunction.blogspot.com/2011/05/cinnamon-sugar-pull-apart-bread.html. Will keep visiting.

Yadi I. @ShopCookMake said...

@Taste Junction:
I too found you through twitter and fell in love with your blog.

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