JAKE IS HOME! And I couldn’t be happier. A couple days prior to him coming home, I was able to speak with him on gmail chat. Knowing he had been eating an African diet, I asked him what he wanted for his first dinner home. I told him he could choose anything, even the option to go out to dinner. Jake promptly replied with “A burger and bloody mary”. And well, if you know Jake, that meant heading to Saints Pub and Grill, currently our favorite restaurant. I had planned on bringing my camera with me to take pictures of what we had, but in all of my excitement of Jake coming home, I forgot. True to his word, Jake had a Patio Fire Pit burger with a spicy bloody mary. (See a theme here)? I had their buffalo chicken wrap with their SUPER DELISH garlic fries. There are two locations in the metro area. One in West Glen, other in Beaverdale. I highly recommend you check it out!
In the same conversation Jake says “I have a favor to ask you”. I, of course, say “Anything” keeping my fingers crossed that he isn’t going to ask me something super ridiculous. Luckily my husband replied “Will you make your homemade cinnamon rolls when I get home”. Now, prior to meeting Jake, he and Kelly used to have “CTD” night, short for Cinnamon Tradition Decision nights. I am not sure the whole story, but something along the lines of one night they really wanted cinnamon rolls for dinner and made the decision to make it a tradition. When I met Jake and I was inducted into this tradition, however started to make homemade ones. In the past year I have tried several different recipes, trying to find “the one” with no success. Today that changed.
As an avid reader of various food blogs, I came across this recipe on Joythebaker.com .
Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
You can use a regular sized bread pan, however I used my Calphalon bread pan sized 8×5 which is a little smaller than standard size.
For the Dough:
2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar *Jake brought me some amazing raw sugar from Tanzania and of course I had to use it.
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk *I used skim
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar *Tanzania sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted until browned
In a large bowl mix 2 cups of flour, sugar, salt and yeast, set aside.
In a smaller bowl whisk two eggs together.
In a small saucepan, melt 1/2 stick butter, adding milk once melted. The original recipe calls for a temperature of 115 to 125. I don’t own a liquid thermometer, so just winged it. (Turned out just fine). I would say you do not want the milk to bubble and build up a froth or stick to the bottom of the pan. You do want it warm enough to activate the yeast.
To the dry ingredients, add the butter and milk mix. Stir with a wooden spoon until well incorporated. Don’t worry as your dough will be sticky and that is a good thing.
Once mixed well, you want to add your whisked eggs. It may seem as though your eggs are not mixing, but don’t worry, it just takes some time.
Once your eggs are mixed well, add the remaining 3/4 cups. You dough should still be sticky.
Place your dough in a large greased bowl and place in a warm spot. I used the top of the stove. Be sure to place a clean towel or paper towel over your bowl. Let your dough rise for an hour, or until doubled. ** See below for overnight info.
While the dough is rising, mix your filling together. Melt 1/2 stick of butter in saucepan and set aside. In a small bowl mix sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together.
Once done rising, punch your dough down and knead for 2 minutes. Feel free to add some flour to help knead, but not too much flour as to not dry your dough out. When done kneading, cover, and let your dough sit on counter for 5 minutes.
On a lightly floured counter, roll out your dough with a rolling pin. Aim for the dimensions of 12 by 20 inches. It is okay if it isn’t exact. In fact, I cut mine down to be 10 by 18.
Using a pastry brush or spoon, spread your melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle sugar-cinnamon-nutmeg mix on top.
Using a pizza cutter, slice your dough into 6 strips. Once cut, stack them on top of each other. Then slice those stacks into 6 piles.
In your greased bread pan, place your stacks of sliced dough in pan as like a loaf of bread. I sprinkled more of the sugar mix to the top. Preheat your stove to 350 degrees. Cover your pan with a clean towel or paper towel to let dough rise again for about 20 minutes.
*In my pan I added some of the sugar/cinnamon/butter mix to the bottom to give it a caramelized glaze.
Place your pan on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. You want your bread to be golden brown to ensure it is not doughy in the middle. Let cool for 10 minutes prior to eating.
Now, I am not sure about you, but anything hot that has cinnamon and sugar in it has got to have some frosting. I decided to add some cream cheese frosting to the warm slices once on our plates.
For the frosting, mix 4 ounces cream cheese with a 1 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. You can adjust the amount of cream cheese and powdered sugar depending on how much frosting you want. We frosted as we put on our plates.
Jake and I agree, this was by far the best cinnamon bread recipe we have made to date. The dough was delicate, perfect sweetness for our liking and had the right amount of flavor. The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the dough to rise. This one is going in my recipe book for sure!
**If you want to plan ahead, you can refrigerate your dough up to 24 hours. If doing that let your dough rise and then place in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before rolling it out.