Thursday, October 1, 2015

Beautiful Cinnamon Bread

Back in early 2014, the Daring Bakers group made something called Beautiful Bread.  Aptly named, right?  There were two recipes, one involving a cinnamon filling, the other a Nutella filling.  Above is the cinnamon bread.  I do intend to make the Nutella one some day, though. 

While I tend to make desserts that look sort of complicated but actually aren't, this one does actually have a lot of steps.  But it is SO SO worth it.  I mean, really, is that some beautiful bread, or what??  Essentially, you make a sweet dough that is divided into 4 parts and rolled out into 8-inch circles.  Each circle gets a layer of butter and cinnamon sugar, and then the next layer is placed on the top, ending with the 4th layer.  With some fancy cutting and twisting, you end up with the bread you see above.  Here is how it's done:

Beautiful Cinnamon Bread
adapted from Daring Bakers
Makes 8 servings
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup warm milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon cardamom, optional
 Cinnamon Filling
1/2 stick butter
4 TB cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 TB sugar
For drizzling
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Whisk the egg with the water, milk, butter and yeast, and set aside.  Sift the flour, salt and cardamom in a separate bowl.  Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and knead until the dough is smooth.  Brush a large bowl with oil and place the dough inside, covering with a damp cloth.  Leave in a warm place to double in size.

Once the dough has doubled, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 equal parts.  Roll each part into a circle that is at least 8-inches in diameter.  Mix the cinnamon and sugar topping together.  Brush the first circle with butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Place a second layer atop the first and repeat the butter and cinnamon sugar.  Do the same with the third circle.  Top with the last, fourth layer and brush with butter.  With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 equal triangles.

Now, make cuts in the center of each triangle that go 2/3 of the way down, not reaching the outer edge or the tip.

Take one of the triangles and gently fold the tip down and poke it into the cut you made, and then pull it down through the cut and back up so the tip is back on top.  I unfortunately did not photograph this step, but this is sort of a graphic to demonstrate how it will look:

It's dreadful, sorry, but if you are making this, hopefully this image will help out.  Do this with each triangle and arrange on a parchment covered baking sheet.  Now pinch the bottom corners of each triangle together, into the middle.  So they are not being pinched to the triangle on either side but rather it's own left and right corners are being pulled together and pinched.  While you are working on this, preheat your oven to 500F. 

Brush the dough with the sweetened milk topping.   Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes, then place into your hot oven (rack in center).  Bake for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 400F and bake for 15-20 more minutes, or until the underside is golden brown.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack and drizzle with sweetened condensed milk while warm. 
Printable recipe

Bask in the glow of the most beautiful "cinnamon rolls" you have ever made!

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