Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread/Cake

I saw a recipe for Pull Apart Bread a while ago, but I was about nine months pregnant and working like mad so there was no way that it was going to happen.  So now that I am no longer pregnant and I stay up soooo much later (insert look of disbelief here) and have my hands free so often (insert second look of disbelief), I decided to make it finally.  We were planning a barbeque and I figured that it’s over-the-top sweetness would be good after all the saltiness of the meat.

The Pioneer Woman recently posted her version of pull apart bread using her cinnamon bun recipe.  Since I have adopted that recipe anyway and everyone likes it (a-hem younger brother who shall not be named), I figured I would try it. Also it doesn’t require a mixer to make, so any reason to have fewer dishes to wash.

Basically you follow the cinnamon bun recipe until the rolling out stage.  When it is rolled out, you just have to add more cinnamon/sugar over the melted margarine.  Then, instead of rolling it up, you slice the dough, width-wise into 5 inch strips.  Stack the slices, one on top of the other, sugar side up, until you have used all the slices.  Be careful because you will have melted margarine dripping everywhere.

Cinnamon-sugary goodness
Cinnamon-sugary goodness

Then slice your stack into six sections.  Carefully put each section sideways into a greased loaf-pan.  Let it rise and bake!

The glaze is the same as the cinnamon bun glaze, though I put a bit too much on my loaf so it was scarily sweet.  Moderation Elle! Portion control! And all of that.

Ready to go into the oven.
Ready to go into the oven.

Turned out delicious though, and the layers really did pull apart (due to all the fat in between them of course) and everyone enjoyed it, even Rocker Dude who was feeling a bit under the weather, and always prefers salty things when he is sick. Don’t worry, I made it up to him and made him a fresh pot of chicken soup the next day.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread
Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Try this out! Everyone has to indulge some time!

Recipe (From The Pioneer Woman): (I only used half the recipe and it made one loaf with a bit left over.)

Note: the butter can be replaced with margarine and the milk with soymilk.

Dough
2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1/2 cup Sugar
2-1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup (additional) All-purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Salt
1 stick Butter, Melted
1-1/2 cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon

Icing
3 cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
1 Tablespoon Maple Extract
1/3 cup Whole Milk
Dash Of Salt

To make the dough, combine milk, canola oil, and 1/2 cup sugar in a large saucepan. Heat it until very hot but not boiling. Turn off heat and allow to cool to warm (not at all hot.)

Sprinkle in the yeast and add 4 cups of flour. Stir to combine, then put lid on the pot and allow to rise for 1 hour. After 1 hour, stir in additional 1/2 cup flour, along with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. If dough is overly sticky, stir in another 1/2 cup flour.

Place dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour to make it easier to work with.

Roll out dough onto a floured surface. Drizzle on melted butter and smear so that it covers all the dough. Mix together the sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle it all over the surface of the dough. (Dough should look very covered.)

Cut the dough into 6 to 8 strips, then stack all the strips into one stack. Cut the stack of strips into 6 slices. Place the stacks sideways into a buttered bread pan. Do not cram the slices into the pan. (You may have a few leftover.)

Cover with a dish towel and allow to rise for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, checking at 20 minutes to make sure it’s not getting too brown on top. It’s important to bake the bread long enough to ensure that the middle won’t be too doughy, because if it is it won’t pull apart easily. If the top looks like it’s getting too brown, cover it lightly with aluminum foil for the rest of the baking time.

Remove the pan from the oven when it’s done. Run a knife along the edges and take the bread out of the pan. Mix together the icing ingredients and drizzle over the top, allowing it to sink into the crevices. Serve warm or room temperature.

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Sin-namon Buns

Okay, so remember way back when, when I said that I was going to try and bake low-sugar and cut calories and all that? So public service announcement – this is not healthy.  Not by any stretch of anyone’s imagination is this low sugar or low fat or low anything.  But if you are going to make cinnamon buns once a year – make these – then send the extras with your husband to share with his friends in the army and don’t eat more than one!

Yum!

I have been dying to make cinnamon buns for ages, but it seemed like way too much effort and it’s very time consuming and I was worried about who was going to eat it all. Purim comes along and all my problems are solved.  I had time to bake (sort of) and a ladies brunch to bring it to so that it did not stay in the house. Rocker Dude was very upset that I chose a time to bake these when he was leaving to the army so I made sure to make him some to bring with him. (I am not going to mention that after I told him to take the less pretty pan with him, he proceeded to take the nice looking ones, but it’s okay.  It’s totally fine. :))

I used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for these buns because it is legend across the blogosphere, and according to her, not too hard to make. You don’t even need to use a mixer!

I made the dough on Tuesday night and let it rise in the fridge over night. Then on Wednesday night I rolled out the dough and shaped the rolls.  Ree was right – these rolls are a cinch to make which is very dangerous knowledge because now I might just make them more often…

The smell of these buns baking in the oven is amazing, even to my poor stuffed nose. I held out and did not eat a single bun until Thursday morning, when I had one of the end pieces that I had baked separately. One word – Sa-weet! (Like that double meaning there?  Sweet awesome and sweet tasty? Eh?)

Cinnamon Buns - the last ones left!

For all you dieters out there, these cinnamon buns are totally worth being your treat of the week (if you are luck y enough to build a weekly treat into your diet) and to my family who keep complaining that I never make anything for them, when I come visit – these will be on the list.

Recipe (from the Pioneer Woman):

1 quart Whole Milk
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
Plenty Of Melted Butter
2 cups Sugar
Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon

MAPLE FROSTING:
1 bag Powdered Sugar
2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 cup Melted Butter
1/4 cup Brewed Coffee
1/8 teaspoon Salt

For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: dough is easier to work with if it’s been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)

To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.

To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter. Don’t be afraid to drizzle on more butter or more sugar! Gooey is the goal.

Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work; that just means the rolls are going to be divine. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.

Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. One “log “will produce 20 to 25 rolls. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)

Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.

While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt. Splash in the maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.

Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor. They only get better with time.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This week’s recipe is hosted by Susan of Food.Baby.  This is a recipe that I was really looking forward to making.  I love making breads (I mean, come on, I make challah every week), and I love eating breads too (it shows).  So I am so glad that Susan picked this recipe to make this week.

I love the combination of raisins and cinnamon, whenever we are in America and we go out for bagels, I always get a cinnamon raisin bagel, toasted, with cream cheese.  I even planned the baking of this bread out well.  I decided to make it Thursday night so that Friday morning (my day off) I would make fresh french toast for the whole family.  It was all planned out.  I sent Rocker Dude food shopping on Thursday afternoon so that we would have the ingredients when I got home from work.

Dough before rising

After I put the Little Rocker to bed, I set about making the dough.  It mixed really nicely and was super soft.  I was very excited.  As the dough rose ( I didn’t have to worry about finding a warm space, it’s about 85 degrees F outside), I set about finding the raisins and margarine and cinnamon.

Look at that rising action!

I looked in the cabinet where we normally keep raisins, but I couldn’t find them.  I looked in the other food cabinet just in case Rocker Dude had misplaced them but there were no raisins.  I asked Rocker Dude where they were.  it went something like this:

Me: Sweetie, where are the raisins that you bought?

RD: You needed those?

Me: Yeah, that’s why I put them on the list.

RD: Oh, sorry baby, I thought they were just for the baby and I had already passed the aisle when I noticed them on the list and I didn’t feel like going back and I figured that the Little Rocker could manage a few days without raisins.

Me: Ummm.

RD: Wait is that why you wrote dark raisins instead of golden raisins?

Me: Uh, yeah.

So there we were, raisin-less at 11:00 at night with no store open and no hope for more raisins before morning.  What to do?  Rocker Dude said that I should put the dough in the refrigerator until morning and bake it then.  That would have been the logical thing to do, but I was impatient and I wanted to be able to make the french toast first thing in the morning so that the Little Rocker could enjoy some for breakfast too.  So I took apart the cabinets looking for something that I could substitute for raisins, but there was nothing.  It was then that I came to my great decision.  I would make Cinnamon Swirl Bread – no raisins.  (At the time this was a big deal, it was a long day).

So I rolled out the dough and smeared the margarine, sprinkled the dough generously with cinnamon and sugar and rolled it up tightly.  I put the dough in the loaf pan and baked it.  The house smelled heavenly.  If you ever want to sell a house, forget the baking cookies, bake bread.

Cinnamon swirl filling

The next morning I sliced up the bread for the french toast and tasted it – ohhhh yuuuuuummmmm.  I gave the Little Rocker a small slice while we were waiting for the french toast to cook and she loved it too.  She also tried to feed it to her stuffed monkey, Momo.  When the french toast was ready, I woke up Rocker Dude (he enjoys being woken up to the smell of fresh breakfast) and we all sat down together.  One word, delicious.

French Toast Fixin's

Afterward Rocker Dude informed me that if I had put in raisins he wouldn’t have liked it as much because he hates raisins in bread.  Is that why he “forgot” them?

Look at that swirl!
French Toast!

Check out the recipe on Susan’s site here, and see what other TWD bakers did here.

Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate and Cinnamon

This was a fun recipe to make.  I was flipping through my Sur La Table cookbook, The Art and Soul of Baking, looking for a fruit based recipe that I could make with a seasonal fruit that wasn’t strawberries.  I found this Pie and I knew I had a winner.  We had a few bananas that I had bought a few days before so they were perfectly ripe, and it looked like something that we would enjoy on a warm day.  I told Rocker Dude what I wanted to make, and his reply was , “It’s a good thing that we will be having guests over.” Hmmph!

The greatest part of this recipe is that it can all be made in advance and assembled later.  It really saved me a lot of time.  The Little Rocker wasn’t feeling well, so this gave me time to take care of her and make something cool.

It happens to everyone.

This recipe started with a broken egg.  I took out eggs to get to room temperature before I started baking, and of course, one got loose and ended up on the floor.  Little Rocker looked on in delight.  Of course she was happy, I had asked Rocker Dude to buy non-dairy oreos (a knockoff brand) and of course they both dipped into the stash.  Cookies and messes!  Wow!!

The crust for this pie was the easiest thing in the world to make.  I ground up the cookies in the food processor and poured the melted margarine on top and pressed into the pie dish.  Because they dipped into my cookie supply, though, I was short come cookies, so I could only cover the bottom of the pie dish.   Don’t worry, I made sure that Rocker Dude heard about it.

When the crust was cool, I made the ganache and spread it over the crust.  The ganache keeps the crust from absorbing too much moisture from the cream and keeps it crispy.

Ganache on a Crust

That went into the fridge while I made the pastry cream.  Cinnamon pastry cream?  Oh yum!  Pastry cream is really simple to make, though I did come across a general type for all pastry cream making.  When you mix the egg yolks with the sugar, make sure to do it only right before you are going to use it.  If you let it sit too long, then the sugar breaks up the egg and apparently you can’t salvage it.

Pastry Cream before it Thickens
Cinnamon Pastry Cream

Once the cream cooled (I had it in the fridge for a few hours), I sliced up the bananas thinly and mixed them into the cream.  If you mix the bananas in right away, then they won’t turn brown because all the surface area is covered.

Banana Pastry Cream

Put that pie right back in the refrigerator and whip the topping up.  As soon as it holds its peaks, spread it over the surface of the pie.  If you want, you can put it in a pastry bag with a star tip and decorate the pie.  I didn’t have the energy to put into making a fancy topping, so I just made a smooth layer of cream.

Finished Pie

You are then supposed to refrigerate the pie for another 30 minutes before serving.   Mine was in for about 3 hours – tasted great.  Look at that yumminess:

Yumminess

When Rocker Dude tasted it (and he only had a small bite at first), he said  that it reminded him of a treat he had eaten in France many years ago.  It’s basically a banana shaped cookie, half a banana and chocolate on top.  Finally!  Something banana-ey that he likes!  And he thought he wouldn’t like it – so there!!

Recipe:

Crust:

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs

3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted

Cinnamon Pastry Cream:

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 large egg

2 large egg yolks

6 tbsp. sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter

1 1/2 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

1 tbsp. plus 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream

3 large ripe bananas (not overripe)

1 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Mix the melted butter with the cookie crumbs until the crumbs are all moistened.  Press the crumbs into a 9 inch pie pan.  Press the cookies as far up the side as they go.  Bake for 8-10 minutes and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Pour the milk into a medium saucepan. Heat until the milk begins to simmer.  Remove from heat.  In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, egg yolks and sugar until well-blended and smooth. Add the flour and whisk vigorously.  Pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the eggs, whisking constantly to temper the eggs.  Slowly pour the yolk mixture into the rest of the milk, constantly whisking.  Heat the mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the flour from lumping until it reaches a boil.  Continue to cook and whisk for another minute until the pastry cream is very thick.  Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and the cinnamon.  Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream to prevent it from forming a skin and refrigerate until completely cool.

Place the chocolate and 1 tbsp. of cream into the microwave and heat on high for one minute.  Stir to blend.  If there are any lumps, heat for another 15 seconds and stir again.  Pour the chocolate onto the cooled pie shell and smooth a thin, even layer over the bottom of the crust.  Chill for 10 minutes to set the ganache.

Cut the bananas into 1/4 inch thick slices and gently stir them into the chilled pastry cream.  Scrape the filling into the prepared pie crust and spread evenly to the edge.  Chill while you make the topping.

Whip the 1 1/4 cups cream, sugar and vanilla together until soft peaks form.  Spread the topping onto the banana cream evenly.  Or you can use a pastry bag with a star tip to decoratively pipe the topping, but keep in mind that you might need about 1/2 cup more cream.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.