After a weekend of humidity and sweating, the sprinkle of rain Brisbane had yesterday was enough to make me happy. Rainy weather inspires me to bake all of the things, and this time round I was craving a sweet bread.
I’ve made cinnamon scrolls before (which you can check out here if you want), but I was after something more practical, that I could eat fresh, toast, or make french toast out of. So the cinnamon swirl pull-apart bread was born – and let me just tell you, it does all of the above things.
I must say, I rate this the best bread I’ve made to date – I’ve always wanted to perfect my bread-making skills, but sadly countless rolls/loafs/buns always come out a little too dense or crumbly. I don’t like to use a box with all the bread ingredients already in there for you, measured out and pre-packaged, because I am determined to master the art all by myself! This recipe produced a beautifully light, chewy and fluffy texture, intertwined with streaks of gooey spiced goodness. I 110% recommend it to you. You will love it.
I used the loaf recipe from Happy Yolks, an absolute favourite blog of mine, then just made up the filling ingredients. This loaf has the ability to transform into almost any sweet bread – change up the fillings as you will. A sprinkle of dried fruit or chocolate chips would take it to a whole other level I think!
Cinnamon Swirl Pull-Apart Bread
Makes 1 loaf
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 packet (7g or 2.5tsp) active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup additional all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
6 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
Preheat your oven to 180ºC.
For the dough, begin by heating the milk and butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to steam. Remove from heat and stir in the yeast and sugar, and allow to sit for five minutes. In a mixer with a bread hook, or just using a bowl and wooden spoon, combine the liquids with the four and a half cups of flour until a loose dough is formed. Cover with a tea towel and set aside for one hour to allow the dough to rise. Add additional quarter cup of flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. On a floured surface, roll out your dough until it is approximately one centimetre thick.
For the filling, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until it becomes almost an icing-like consistency. Smooth the filling evenly over the entire surface of the dough.
Slice the dough into six even strips vertically, then place them into two stacks of three slices. Cut the stacks down into three or four parts, turn sideways and place into a well-oiled bread loaf tin. Repeat with all remaining dough. Cover with a tea towel again, and set aside for half and hour to rise.
Bake for thirty minutes, until the top has browned. Remove and test the centre of the bread – if it’s still gooey (mine was), bake for a further 10, 15, or even 20 minutes with the top covered by foil.
When baked, remove from oven, and allow to sit in the tin for 10 minutes. Turn out on to a baking wire to cool. Serve!
You could make this loaf even more cinnamon scroll-like, and make up a little icing to drizzle over the top. Make sure you accompany it with a huge cup of tea.0