Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

22 Mar

DSC_0064

And we’re back to baking!  I haven’t baked as much lately, and I don’t really know why…  Very silly, so I’ll have to fix that soon.

DSC_0137

So I biked downtown for the first time in ages the other day.  I had to go to the library to get a book, but had fines and couldn’t check anything out…  But I ended up at this really wonderful little place that I’ve been meaning to try since I came here.  It’s called Grahamwich, it is divine, and it is strangely cheap.  Also it’s got gorgeous design.  I can’t even tell you.

DSC_0144

 

Even though it was absolutely frigid, it was a beautiful day, and it made me so happy to be on the bike and taking pictures.  It’s been too long because we’ve had dreadful weather all winter that’s made it physically impossible to go out on a two-wheeled vehicle.

DSC_0160

 

One thing I love about winter: the beaches are deserted.  I’m always surprised/dismayed when summer comes around and the park near where I live is swarmed and the bike path becomes hazardous.  Not only is that crush of people stressful and annoying, but it prevents a person from singing a mix of Lady Gaga and Indigo Girls at top volume while biking.  If a person were into that kind of thing.

You’re here for food, though.  Let’s get to it.

I feel bad taking so many recipes from Joy the Baker, but she is truly primus super pares in the world of baking blogs.  This recipe isn’t even adapted, and I am suitably ashamed.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 envelope dry active yeast (2 1/4 tsp, acc. to Joy)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tablespoons/2 oz butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 large eggs

For filling:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp/2 oz butter, melted and cooled

To do:

First, stir together 2 cups of the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Pour the yeast into 3 tbsp water with a pinch of sugar and stir.  Let sit for five minutes until it foams up.

DSC_0037

Whisk together eggs in a different bowl.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and milk together.  Remove from heat and add water.  Let that cool for a bit.

DSC_0023

 

Add that and the activated yeast to the flour mixture and stir until incorporated.  Then, whisk in the eggs completely.  It will take a long time and you’ll be totally convinced that there is no way the eggs will get with the flour/milk, but keep at it.  Also, it looks nasty as hell.

Add the rest of the flour to make it look even nastier.

Trust.

Transfer the dough to a greased mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.  Sit that down in a warm, dry place and wait for an hour so it can double in size.  While bread chemistry is happening, mix the dry ingredients from the filling part of the recipe in a small bowl.

DSC_0038

 

Also grease a loaf pan while you’re at it.

DSC_0036

 

I worked on my political theory final while I waited for the dough to rise.  Super fun.

Deflate the dough and knead in 2 tbsp flour.  Cover with a towel and let it rest for five minutes.  I don’t know why you’re supposed to do this.  I will find out and let you all know.  Maybe I will write a bread science post some day.

Anyway.

Roll out the dough on a lightly-floured surface until it’s about 20 in x 12 in.  I actually didn’t have a lot of trouble with this dough being super sticky or recalcitrant or anything, which made me very happy.  I did have trouble rolling it out for a while, but then I realized that I had these height guards on the end of my rolling pin…  Don’t judge, we all have those moments.

DSC_0043

 

With a pastry brush, slather it in the butter.  Or a paint brush.  Whichever you happen to have.

Then, sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar.

Actually.  Okay, the original recipe acknowledges that it seems like a lot of sugar, but says to roll with it.  I disagree because jesus, it is a lot of sugar.  I would recommend using half the sugar, but if the original recipe works for you, go for it.

DSC_0045

 

Slice this into six-ish strips and stack the strips on top of each other.  Then, slice that into six squares.

DSC_0053

 

Pile those into the loaf pan like so:

DSC_0061

 

I’m trying to think of an analogy and failing…

Like stacking books on a shelf.  There we go.

Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and do the whole rising thing again.  In the mean time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Then, bake for 30-35 minutes.  The original recipe cautions you to make sure it’s really baked all the way through before taking it out.  The top should be a deep golden brown.  If it’s lightly browned, the middle may still be raw.  Cue paranoia, I know.  Sorry!

DSC_0068

 

It’ll be okay.  I believe in you.

 

The book I wanted to check out at the library was by Kim Young-Ha and it was called Your Republic Is Calling You, about a North Korean spy living in ROK for years and years who gets called back suddenly.  My school library actually had a different book of his called I Have the Right to Destroy Myself that I quite enjoyed.  It’s very short and a very quick read (I read the whole thing in the bath), and it’s sort of about a guy who helps people kill themselves, and about these two guys who know a woman who killed herself with the first guy’s help.  I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s a solid little book, and worth a read if you want something that doesn’t require a huge investment but isn’t some throwaway thing.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread”

  1. nationcake 22/03/2013 at 4:25 pm #

    This looks delicious, sort of like bread and butter pudding without the custard? (Actually adding custard to this also sounds good…) The photos are lovely – I agree, I love taking pictures in the freezing cold clear days – they always seem to look so much nicer!

    • thedancingtoast 23/03/2013 at 3:16 am #

      Thanks! Hmm, I don’t know? I’ve never had bread and butter pudding. But dude, custard would improve this 100% I think. Next time I make it I’m going to use more spreads and toppings. I was just so lazy that day…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: