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Monday, December 5, 2011

Cinammon and Sugar Pull Apart Bread

Well, I guess there is a first for everything. This is the first time I have ever posted on my blog without trying the recipe first. But really, how can you go wrong with bread, cinnamon, sugar, spice and butter? Those are practically staples of life. Tomorrow will be a verdict as to whether or not this recipe is a keeper. If so...then Pinterest gets another "high five" from me for having the most amazing recipes ever.

These next couple of weeks at work are going to be filled with potlucks of endless "grazing" in our staff lounge! As if I didn't feel like a cow already, this grazing definitely will not help my cause ;)
Since everyone signed up to bring two things each, I decided to make both mine tonight and contribute them tomorrow. So for now I will go lay down in my "pasture" and rest, for tomorrow brings more grazing!!

For the Dough:
2 3/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tbsp. 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 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 Tbsp. butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl 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.  This takes awhile but keep stirring! Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir for about 2 minutes.  The dough might be sticky.  That’s ok!
Place the dough is 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 an hour or so)
While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling.  Set aside.  Melt 4 Tbsp. of butter. Set aside.  Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch  loaf pan.  Set that aside too. Punch down 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.  
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.  Place the dough squares in the pan so the top looks like the pages of a book. (with the thin sides down, not the flat parts)
 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.  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.

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