August 22, 2012

Overnight Pull Apart Cinnamon Loaf

Cinnamon is one of my favorite tastes and scents. There is something so relaxing to me about the smell of cinnamon and when I use it in baking it makes me feel warm and comforted. I am so happy that it's almost fall, I love all the colors, scents and tastes associated with it and cinnamon is one spice I think of in relation to the season. Cinnamon is great in cookies, chili, roasted squash, roasted nuts, there are so many delicious options. One of my favorite ways to use cinnamon year round is in bread. Growing up I was in love with cinnamon and sugar on my toast. My favorite breakfast was wheat toast with peanut butter and then topped with cinnamon sugar, yum! Honestly, to this day if I am having a bad day, cinnamon toast can be an instant pick-me-up. It reminds me of being a kid and being happy with simple things like cinnamon toast. Last week I decided that I was in a baking mood and tried a new recipe for Overnight Pull-Apart Cinnamon Loaf from the April issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

This recipe has 11 ingredients. It takes a total of one hour (plus rise time), 30 minutes of which is active and makes 12 servings. I ended up making this recipe two times. The first time I tried the overnight fridge rise and it did not work. My ball was still pretty much the same size in the morning and it didn't heat up to rise on the counter the next day. So I threw away my first attempt and started over. Instead of doing an overnight rise on the second batch I let the dough rise for an hour on the counter. It worked perfectly and the dough rose beautifully. I think one of the key things that went wrong with the first batch is that I overworked the dough. The dough will not go into a nice neat ball. I mixed my dough until it formed together and then let it rise. The first time I followed the directions to make it into a ball and then put it in the fridge. That method did not work at all for me. I chose not to top the bread with pistachios, my boys can be hit or miss with nuts and since they are so expensive I chose to leave them off. Finally, I think that my layering technique might be slightly different. My bread turned out great, but it came off as slices from the top that peeled like monkey bread, not like the picture in the magazine. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.

I think in total this bread lasted less than four hours in my house. It was so good that I ate a piece and then went back for three more. My two boys were hesitant at first, but after they tried it they absolutely loved it. The powdered sugar glaze was definitely a selling point with my children and it made for a very pretty presentation on the table. I did add slightly more vanilla to the glaze than recommended. I like my powdered sugar glazes to have a strong vanilla flavor. A great bread for breakfast or for a treat any time of the day.

For the recipe go to Overnight Pull Apart Cinnamon Loaf.
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