Spring has well and truly sprung here in Australia and it’s getting milder. I tend to associate yeast cinnamon buns more as a winter comfort food, but O M G, this bread cannot be saved just for winter. It’s too delicious. Perfect for my teenage son who doesn’t know where the knife drawer is. It is such a great morning or afternoon tea sweet bread that I can eat it all year round. I must admit I have only recently discovered pull-apart breads (where have you been all my life?) and recipes abound for them. I am still experimenting with the size and shape, so I had leftovers for some mini-mine breads – I just loved the extra crunch on the mini ones! As with most of my yeast doughs, I made the dough for this one using my bread machine, as I find the proving is much more reliable in a bread machine.
Modified from Joy The Baker
Cinnamon pull-apart bread
Makes: 1 loaf (serves 10)
- 400 g plain flour
- 50 g caster sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon bread improver (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 7 g yeast (one pack of dry yeast)
- 60 ml (¼ cup ) water, tepid
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) full cream milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling
- 200 g caster sugar (yes, that much)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 60 g very soft butter
- Sift flour into a bowl with the sugar, bread improver (if using) and salt.
- In another bowl, activate the yeast in the warm water with 1 teaspoon sugar for 5 minutes.
- Melt the butter on a low heat, so it is just melted and not hot.
- Add milk, eggs, vanilla, yeast/water and give it a very light whisk so that everything is incorporated.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients in a bowl of a bread machine set to ‘dough only’ setting.
- Make the filling by combining the nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.
- Prepare a loaf tin (23 cm x 13 cm x 6.5 cm) by lightly oiling and lining with baking paper, cut long enough so it comes out over the edges.
- Once the dough has risen, remove from bread machine, ‘knock back’ and knead a little on a lightly floured work counter.
- Roll it out as much as you can to make a 30 cm (wide) x 50 cm (long) rectangle.
- Spread the butter over the entire surface and completely cover with the sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg mixture.
- Cut vertically into 6 strips, then carefully pick up each strip and layer one on top of the other to make a 6-layered stack.
- Cut through the stack 5 to 6 times (depending how large your loaf tin is), then pick up each stack and place sideways in the loaf tin one after the other so that the cut edges are all facing upwards and it looks like sliced-up loaf of bread. The slices should not be too snugly lined up in the tin, as the dough will expand as it rises again.
- Cover with a warm tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place for thirty minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
- Bake in middle of oven for 30 minutes. Let it go nice and brown on the top.
- Remove from oven and leave in tin for 15 minutes to cool.
- Lift out carefully (using the overhanging baking paper as handles) and transfer to a serving plate to cool enough so it can be scoffed without burning the roof of your mouth.
If you do not have a bread maker to mix and prove the dough:
- After combining the activated yeast with the butter/egg/milk mixture, add to three-quarters of the flour mixture and stir and stir until all is incorporated.
- Keep adding the flour until you have a sticky dough.
- Transfer to a stand mixer with a dough hook and knead for a few minutes (or keep doing this by hand).
- Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place for one to two hours until doubled in size.
- Go to dot point 6 of the main recipe and keep going.