Weekend Recipe Challenge…(It seriously was a challenge)!

5 Nov

I decided that this past weekend would be a perfect time to try a couple of the recipes that have been piling up in my cabinet. Usually I browse the internet or my favorite blogs and print recipes that catch my eye. However, most of them get put into the cabinet and into the “recipe abyss”. I hate that I can never find the time or the energy to cook. I really need to start finding the time because I  need to learn to be a better at it. So, I’m challenging myself to make at least three new recipes a week. I’m sure it will be hit or miss, but you can bet that I will be sharing the process with you!

On Sunday night I made Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread which was sooooo yummy, but was a complete FLOP the first time I tried it. Yes, I said “the first time” which means I had to make this twice to get it right. What a pain in the ass.  I was following a recipe from a blogger and it was so hard to follow that my dough got all screwed up. I added too much sugar to the initial recipe and my dough just would not rise. I babied it and coddled it for over an hour and it just wouldn’t rise! Curse you dough!!

I threw that batch in the trash and decided to move on and try again. I also promised myself that when I put this on my blog, I would make the recipe much easier to follow. So, with that being said…Here is the recipe for the best Cinnomony, gooey, yummy bread you’ve ever tried. I must say, it was worth the second shot.

Get your bowls and ingredients out and set everything aside. I like to first gather all the things I will need to I can see what I’m working with.  We’re making a yeasted dough, rolling it out flat, covering it in butter, cinnamon and sugar, and slicing it into little squares.  The squares are then stacked into a loaf pan and baked.

This dough can be made and left to rise , then refrigerated overnight for use in the morning.  The cold dough is a bit easier to roll out than room temperature dough… but I made this recipe without chilling the dough overnight, and I had success.

This is the dough just before it’s left to rise.  It looks a little wet, right?  Yea… this is a bit of a sticky dough.  Try to resist loading the dough up with a ton of flour… it should be sticky.








Gus (my dog) is not impressed with this process…

After the dough has rested and risen for an hour, I knead it in a few tablespoons of flour.  It’s no longer sticky… it feels soft and airy.

(This is the part in the bread process where you can wrap the dough and place it in the fridge to rest overnight.  Once you’re ready to work with it, let the dough sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before rolling out.)

I worked with my dough right away.  I rolled it 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long.  Then I slathered it with browned butter, cinnamon, and sugar. YUMMMMM. I sliced the dough, vertically, into six long strips.  I stacked them.  I sliced them into six little stacks of dough squares. yum yum yum!

This is the dough stacked into a greased and floured 9×5-inch loaf pan… You have waitanother 30-45 mins for it to rise again. Pure torture.

FINALLY…After all that work, 30 Minutes in the oven and you’re done. THANKS GOODNESS…and the end result is de-lish!

Here’s the recipe:

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

Makes: one 9x5x3-inch loaf

 For the Dough:

3  cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

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

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 ounces unsalted 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 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

2 ounces unsalted butter, melted until browned


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast (I activated my yeast- follow the instructions on the packet).  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 (stir for one minute).  Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes.  The mixture will be sticky.  That’s just right.

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 1 hour.  *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, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling.  Set aside.  Melt 2 ounces of butter until browned.  Set aside.  Grease and flour a 9x5x3-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.  Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough.  Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  It might seem like a lot of sugar, it’s not!

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.  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.

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.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.   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.


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