Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Have you ever had Amish friendship bread? It’s the chain email of bread. You create or are gifted a starter from a friend and after 10 days give some starter to friends and use the rest to bake the bread. The bread is loaded with cinnamon and sugar and while it is a nice loaf, this cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread is the true friendship bread.
I’ve been making this bread for about three years and it is the perfect thing to bring somewhere if you are meeting new people. It’s simple to make, everyone loves it, and sharing it with other people ensures you won’t eat the entire thing, because otherwise that WILL happen.
I made this bread the first time I met my wife’s extended family. The way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, right? It is best enjoyed straight out of the oven like last week’s gruyère stuffed loaves. The sugar on the top caramelizes for a perfect crunch while the rest of the bread is amazingly soft and has a warm and comforting cinnamon flavor.The pieces will peel away from each other very easily when warm. If there is anything left after a few hours you can always reheat some in the microwave or oven to get it back to that ‘just out of the oven’ texture. If you haven’t made bread before this is another greater starter recipe; it is pretty foolproof, quick, and incredibly delicious. If you wanted you could also use this recipe to make monkey bread. Instead of cutting the dough into square pieces you would roll small balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar and then place them all in a bundt pan (example recipe here). Either way, it is guaranteed to please!
- 3 C AP flour
- ¼ C sugar
- 2¼ tsp instant yeast
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- ⅓ C milk
- ¼ C water
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 C sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan on very low heat melt together butter and milk until the butter has just melted. Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract.
- Pour the milk mixture and beaten eggs into the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. The dough will be sticky but should hold together. Add additional flour or water as needed to achieve this consistency.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour.
- While the dough rises whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg for the filling. Melt the butter for the filling, and butter and flour a 9" x 5" loaf pan. Set everything aside.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to 12" x 20". Add additional flour as needed. If you are having trouble getting the dough to hold shape, just let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Use a pastry brush to spread the melted butter across all of the dough. Then, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough.
- Slice the dough vertically into six equal length strips. Stack the strips on top of each other and slice that stack into six equal pieces again. This should give you six stacks of six squares, or 36 pieces total.
- Place the dough squares into the loaf pan side by side. Sprinkle any leftover cinnamon sugar over top.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size. At the same time preheat oven to 350 F.
- When risen bake the loaf in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Make sure to let the top brown sufficiently, if you take it out too early the inside may not be fully cooked.
- Remove from oven and run a butter knife around the edges to loosen the bread. Turn out onto a clean board and serve warm.