Ideal for a holiday brunch, this cinnamon pull-apart bread, from a new cookbook out of Toronto bakery Bobbette & Belle, is like a cinnamon bun double-whammy. There is something about all those visible layers of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon sandwiched between soft, caramelized dough bursting out of the loaf pan with the scent of cinnamon that makes you want to dig in there, rip it apart and eat to your heart's content.
Excerpted from Bobbette & Belle: Classic Recipes from the Celebrate Pastry Shop by Allyson Bobbitt & Sarah Bell. Copyright © Bobbette & Belle Inc., 2016. Food photography by Ryan Szulc. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada Books Inc., a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. All rights reserved.
Servings: One loaf, serving 6 to 8
2 3/4 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 envelope)
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar (more if needed)
2 tsp cinnamon (more if needed)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
3 tbsp whole milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
To make the bread:
In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, yeast and salt.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk, water and vanilla. Pour the butter mixture over the flour mixture and mix with a spatula until combined.
Whisk the eggs in a small bowl, then add to the dough, mixing until the eggs are fully incorporated. Add the remaining 3/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon of flour and mix until combined.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Shape it into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
To make the cinnamon-sugar filling:
Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
To make the cream-cheese glaze:
Combine the cream cheese, milk, vanilla and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until well blended and there are no visible lumps of cream cheese. Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the icing sugar, then beat on high speed until completely smooth.
Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes, adding a touch of flour if it is sticky. Pat it into a rectangle approximately 12x20 inches. Spread a generous amount of the soft butter all over the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the entire buttered surface. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cleanly cut the dough into six strips, 2-inches wide and 20-inches long. Gently stack the strips on top of each other. Cut across the pile to create six equal stacks.
With the cinnamon side facing inward, stand two rectangles upright in the pan, touching one side of the pan. (The dough rectangles will not fill the width of the pan.) Place another two rectangles so they touch the other side of the pan. Continue to alternate the rectangles, making sure the cinnamon sides face the same direction, except for the last rectangle, which should face inward. Cover with a tea towel and let sit in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top of the bread is dark golden brown. For even baking, rotate the pan front to back halfway through. Allow the bread to cool slightly in the pan.
Spoon the cream-cheese glaze over the top of the warm loaf. The loaf can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to three days.