A little lovin’ from the oven
I absolutely love baking bread. When I see new recipes, especially ones that make pretty-looking bread, I am compelled to try it out. I came across this recipe from my girlfriend Jaclyn, who raved about it. I won’t lie and say this doesn’t make a holy mess of your kitchen, but it’s worth it.
The original recipe hails from Joy the Baker (she dubbed it Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread), and called Cinnamon Leaves Sweet Bread in another adaptation on Foy Update’s blog, (I made Foy’s version) this does resemble pretty little leaves when baked, and made Michael think of apple pie.
I made Foy’s Cinnamon Leaves as directed, using bread flour in place of all-purpose. My notes: the initial rise needed about 2.5 hours, and not 60 minutes.
For the Dough:
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup 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 cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, yeast and salt) together in a large bowl, reserving one cup of the flour. On the stove or in the microwave, heat the milk, water, and butter until the butter is liquid. Allow the mixture to cool until it is still warm. You want the temperature to be about 110 degrees. Beat the two eggs together in a small bowl. Then add the butter mixture and eggs to the dry ingredients. Mix in a stand mixer (my preferance) or by hand. Kneed in the last cup of flour, until well mixed.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, rise with a clean towel over top until double. I have been letting my bread rise in a cold oven with the light on. Let rise about 2.5 hours or until doubled in size.
- Roll out the dough on a clean surface to 12 by 20 inch rectangle. Now you’re ready to add the filling. Brush the melted butter over the surface of the rolled out dough. Then mix the cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg together and sprinkle it over top. This is where the mess happens.
- Then cut the dough into six strips. Stack the six strips on top of each other. Cut those strips into three or four stacks of squares. Put the stacks of squares into a 9×5 loaf pan. I like to line mine with parchment paper first, but use a nonstick or greased pan if you prefer.
- Allow to rise a second time (about 15-30 minutes).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Check to make sure the loaf is done before you tip it out by using a butter knife to press down on the top, if it springs back it is done. If it doesn’t the dough isn’t quite baked, put it back in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Use the butter knife to loosen the edges then invert the bread onto a plate. The syrup that was made from all the sugar, is really hot and will run down the edges.