Wow. Wow wow wow. I’ve just made and eaten the most delicious thing. In the words of my husband “this may be the best thing you have ever made”. It’s bready, it’s cinnamony, it’s buttery, it’s to die for. It’s a cinnamon sugar pull-apart loaf. And believe me, you want to make this.
Now they say that good things come to those who wait, and never has that been truer than with this recipe. There is a LOT of waiting. So much waiting that a person (OK, this person) could find themselves eating peanut butter straight out of the jar. Don’t let the time put you off, it is well worth it. There’s mixing, then allowing to rise, then slicing, and allowing to rise again, then cooking (oh! the aroma!), then allowing to rest for TWENTY AGONISING MINUTES.
But then, finally, it IS ready and you can tuck in and everything is right with the world. Some more quotes: “this is outrageously good” (from my husband) and “oh golly oh golly” (from me). Do yourself a favour and put this on your to-do list.
Yes, there is a lot of butter and sugar – I’m not pretending this is a health food at all. I would recommend you have some friends over when this is ready, or like us you will end up eating it all yourself.
2 ¾ cup plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 x 7g pack dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk (I used light)
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the amazing topping:
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
30g butter unsalted butter, melted
Sift the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into a large mixing bowl.
Melt the butter and milk in the microwave, then add the water and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well with a spatula.
Whisk your eggs and add to the mix. When this is combined, add the ¾ cup plain flour and keep mixing. Even though it looks sticky, this is all fine. Grease your bowl with vegetable or olive oil and place the dough back in. Cover with cling film and place somewhere warm to rise for an hour. Interestingly today I found the warmest place in the house was on top of my Foxtel box. Is that a sign that I watch too much TV? Probably.
About 5 minutes before the dough finishes rising, mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a little bowl and set aside. Melt the butter in the microwave and set that aside. Grease and flour a small loaf pan.
Punch down your risen dough and knead in 2 tablespoons of flour. Roll out the dough on a floured surface, to around 30cm x 50cm or so. Using a pastry brush, spread the melted butter across all of the dough. Sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon mixture. It seems like way too much sugar – it is, but just do it.
Slice your dough into 5-6 even vertical strips. Stack them on top of each other and slice again into 6 equal pieces. Lay the pieces vertically into the loaf pan, packing them in quite tight. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise again for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Heat your oven to 180°C and bake for 35 minutes. You want the top to be really brown and golden, as this will ensure that the centre is cooked too. Allow to rest in the pan for 20 minutes, before loosening the edges and flipping out onto a wire rack. Devour immediately with a big cup of tea.