Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread
November 25 2019
Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! I know that everyone is up to their eyeballs in preparations for the big feast, and there are a million and one turkey, stuffing, and mashed potato recipes along with family favorites, so I decided to skip to the morning after! When I've got family or friends visiting, and I'm looking for the perfect brunch item to serve the day after Thanksgiving, this is my new favorite. In fact, any time I'm looking for comfort snacking, this is it. Y'all remember Cinna-bon, right?? Well, this is Cinna-bon in a pull-apart bread form. From the moist, flaky bread to the cinnamon-brown sugar-butter filling to the cream cheese frosting, it's everything and more!
This recipe comes from the Toronto bakery, Bobbette & Belle. They have the most delicious baked goods and a wonderful cookbook. They were also hugely helpful when I got hung up on the layering step. I took the liberty to re-write it to try to simplify it. I also have a photo below of what it should look like in the loaf pan so that there isn't any confusion.
I have shared this with so many friends (it's deadly to keep it to myself) and the response has been amazing! I hope you enjoy it as much as they (and I) have!
Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread
Makes one 9x5-inch loaf; serves 6 to 8
Active Time: 42 minutes Rising Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
2 3/4 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 envelope) *See Chef’s Note re: active yeast
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
Cream Cheese Glaze:
1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
3 tbsp whole milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
To make the bread, in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, yeast and salt.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk, water and vanilla. Pour the butter mixture over the flour mixture and mix with a spatula until combined.
Using the dough hook on your stand mixer, knead the dough for 7 minutes on medium-high speed until smooth and elastic. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough by hand for one minute. Shape it into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
To make the cinnamon sugar filling, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray. I love this Emile Henry loaf baking dish…it just looks gorgeous! Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes, adding a touch of flour if it is sticky. Pat or roll it into a rectangle approximately 12 x 20 inches. Spread a generous amount of the soft butter all over the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the entire buttered surface. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cleanly cut the dough into 6 strips 2 inches wide and 20 inches long. Then cut across those strips into 5 even lines so that you end up with 36 rectangles 2 inches by approximately 3”.
Stack two of the rectangles on top of each other, with the cinnamon side facing up. With the short end of the loaf pan nearest you, stand up those two pieces so that they touch the short end, and also one side of the long side. These pieces won’t be quite wide enough to fit the entire width of the pan, so take two more rectangles and stack them so that they touch the opposite long side of the pan. Continue in this manner until they are all used up and the loaf pan is filled. Be sure that all of the pairs have the cinnamon side facing into the loaf pan. The final pair should face the opposite direction so that the cinnamon doesn’t stick to the pan. Cover with a tea towel and let sit in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top of the bread is dark golden brown. For even baking, rotate the pan front to back halfway through. Allow the bread to cool slightly in the pan.
Spoon the cream cheese glaze over the top of the warm loaf. The loaf can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to three days. For a treat, rewarm bread in the microwave for 20-30 seconds before eating!
Cream Cheese Glaze:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and salt. Beat on medium-high speed until well blended ad were are no visible lumps of cream cheese.
Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the icing sugar, then beat on high speed until completely smooth.
Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Chef’s Note: If you have active yeast, as opposed to instant, use the same quantity but activate it by putting the yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water and 1/4 tsp sugar. Mix it together and let it sit for 5 minutes. This is the 1/4 cup of water that the recipe instructs to mix with the butter. Do not add that 1/4 cup water to the butter, but instead, after the butter mixture (without the water) is added to the flour mixture, add the water-yeast mixture at that point.
Recipe from Bobbette & Belle