Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Recipe #26: Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Aparts in Vanilla Glaze

No, it's really not monkey bread, if you've ever made that.  Instead of pouring a butter sauce over all of the small pieces of yeast dough after they are placed in a tube pan, in this recipe each piece is dipped in butter first, then rolled in a sugar/cinnamon mixture and made in a 9" pie pan...I happen to have a 9 1/2" pyrex pie pan, which works out perfectly.  And the beauty of this recipe is that in addition to being totally addictive, you can slice it just like a pie...you don't have to pull it apart piece by piece if you don't want to.  By cutting the pull-apart into slices, you can actually see the marbling on the sides.  But, you don't have to cut it either.  You can revert back to going piece by piece by piece until you have just about finished the whole thing, like I nearly did!

2/3 cup warm water                                             1 tbsp active dry yeast, almost two envelopes
1/2 cup flour, plus 1 cup flour                             4 large eggs, whisked in a bowl
1/4 cup sugar, plus 1 cup sugar                           2 tsp salt (I use kosher)
1 stick butter, softened                                         3/4 stick butter, melted
   just short of turning liquid                                1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Pour water into the bowl of a stand mixer.  I use my insta-read thermometer for the temp of the water and as a rule, try to do 100 degrees.   Sprinkle yeast evenly over water and let sit until foamy, about 5 to 6 minutes.  Using a whisk, blend until smooth, then whisk in 1/2 cup flour to form a paste.  This may take a minute or two as there should be no lumps.  Let rise in a warm place uncovered (I turn my oven on for a few minutes, then turn off) until yeast mixture looks a little sunken, about 30 minutes.  Add the eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, butter and flour to yeast mixture.  Using the dough hook, knead for 10-15 minutes, scraping the bowl a few times, until all of the ingredients are incorporated.   Turn out dough onto an unfloured work surface and knead by hand until smooth, 2-3 minutes.  Transfer dough to a bowl and cover with damp towel or plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Punch down dough.  Put the melted butter in a bowl.  Brush butter on the inside of the 9" pie pan.  Stir 1 cup sugar and cinnamon in another bowl.  Roll dough into generous 1" balls, should be 45 (I line mine up on a cookie sheet, so I can keep count).  Dip each ball into butter, then the cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Place in pie pan, moving inward with each row.  You should have 4 rows, with the top row only having one ball, (see below).  If not, don't worry.  Sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon/sugar and drizzle with any leftover butter (I had a just a little butter left, so melted another 2 tbsp).  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let dough rise, about 1 hour.  Heat oven to 350.  Unwrap dough and place pie pan on baking dish, in case of dripping over.  Bake until golden brown and inserting a wooden skewer or shish kabob metal skewer comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes.  Cool in dish about 15 minutes, then spoon glaze over all.

Vanilla Glaze

1 cup confectioners sugar                                    1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, melted                                            2 tbsp milk (preferably 1 or 2%)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk butter, milk, salt and vanilla (I use the pan I just melted the butter in).  Put confectioners sugar in a small bowl.  Add butter mixture.   Whisk until smooth.  Best to make glaze when you take the pull-aparts out of the oven, as it may thicken up otherwise.  If so, thin with a little milk.  Drizzle over all.  Bon appetit!

after baking with the glaze


look how the glaze seeps through every opening...yum, yum



after cutting a slice, you can see the individual pieces





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