Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

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I’m not usually one for sweet cravings. I’ll take a salty bag of potato chips over chocolate nearly any time the opportunity arises. However, one day a couple weeks ago, I woke up with a HUGE desire for cinnamon rolls. As in I almost rolled myself out of bed and immediately went into the kitchen in a near-panic on the hunt for yeast, flour, cinnamon, and sugar. Almost.

The more likely version of what followed after I awoke with this devouring, insatiable desire for cinnamon rolls, is my non-morning-type self lazily flopped my head over, pulled my hair up into a waaay-messy bun, trudged downstairs towards the kitchen, grunted lovingly at the two dogs waiting at the bottom of the staircase to bombard me with licks anywhere they could, said good morning to my husband, then poured an enormous cup of coffee. Cinnamon rolls became an afterthought.

Later in the day, however, I remembered Joy Wilson’s cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread recipe I had seen many times before, but hadn’t yet tried. The best part about a cinnamon roll is definitely the center. Its soft, ooey-gooey-ness, delicious caramel-y cinnamon-laced sugar. This bread, which you can pull apart in sheets, has the equivalent of the magical cinnamon roll center, but in larger quantities. The real trick though, is not eating the whole loaf of bread by yourself in one sitting. Good luck.

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Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

Makes one 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

Recipe slightly modified from Joy the Baker.

Ingredients:

For the Dough
3 tablespoons warm water (105-115 degrees F)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted until browned

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Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Set aside until the mixture is bubbly and looks frothy. Stir in 2 cups of flour and the salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and then set them aside.

In a small saucepan, melt together the milk and butter, until the butter has just melted. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Let mixture stand for a minute or two, or until the temperature reduces to about 115 to 125 degrees F.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour/yeast mixture, stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter. The eggs will seem soupy and it’ll seem like the dough and the eggs aren’t going to come together… just keep stirring. Add 3/4 of the remaining cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be sticky.

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Place the dough in a large, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon for the filling. Set aside. Melt 2 ounces of butter in a saucepan until browned. Set aside. Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan then line with parchment paper, so any extra length hangs over the edges. Lightly spray or brush with oil, then set that aside too.

Deflate the risen dough and knead the remaining 1/4 cup of flour into the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out. The dough should be about 12-inches wide and about 20-inches long. Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough. Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

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Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips. Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again. You’ll have six stacks of six squares. Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book. Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown. The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw. A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well.

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Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto a clean board. Place a cake stand or cake plate on top of the upside down loaf, and carefully invert so it’s right side up.

The bread is best served the day it’s made, but it can also we wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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Saturday Sites: Week Forty-Six

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  1. Twenty-five stores and what they should be called. Numbers 14, 15, 16 — YES.

  2. Well, at the ripe old age of 29.4167, pretty much everything on this list is relative.

  3. Also on that note

  4. I enjoyed this read on how to maintain a food blog long-term.

  5. Italian chefs rate store bought dried pastas. Trader Joe’s for the win?!

  6. I’d love to ride on this bike path.

  7. THIS PASTA, YES, PLEASE, THAAANK YOU.

  8. Some classic characteristics of folks with an INFJ personality. That’s what I am.

  9. I am intrigued by these oats!

  10. Anyone have any thoughts on these baby names that are apparently on the rise?

  11. This teacher and his sense of humor are so damn good.

  12. There is a good possibility that these will show up in our house for Thanksgiving this year.

  13. I may or may not (and totally do) have a knack for doing this.

  14. For the last month, I’ve been craving cinnamon rolls every morning, first thing when I get up. It’s silly. THIS RECIPE IS MAKING ME SO HUNGRY.

  15. I’m certain that I’ve been awkward my entire life.

  16. These treats need an urgent place in my life.

Day to Day Life: Week 45

The last week, looking a bit like this:

Still egg-xactly obsessed with eggs, apparently. Whole wheat sourdough toast, over-easy egg, sharp cheddar, thyme, salt and pepper.
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When I got this beer, the checkout clerk said, “Oh hey, look! They put you on the bottle!” I decided it was probably good that it takes some real effort to offend me.
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Homemade Chinese food for dinner one night, on a whim… Sweet sour tofu, veggie fried rice, and spinach rangoon.
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Having a food blog means this happens often: make something, photograph it, write about it, eat it.
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Breakfast overload. Homemade biscuits, veggie sausage gravy, cheesy scrambled eggs.
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What to do when you serve a dinner that you aren’t sure should be on a plate or in a bowl? Present both options. Hah.
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Homemade pizza night is still one of my favorite nights. I couldn’t remember the last time I made a round pizza. So… sourdough crust for the win.
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Creamy grits with veggie chicken étouffée.
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At the last minute we drove up to Corvallis for the state-qualifying water polo tournament that both Vincent and Kenya had games in. Both the girls and boys made it to State, so we’ll be traveling up there again this coming week.
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These dudes.
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Veggie burritos for lunch and for dinner, because that is how we roll around here…
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We then traveled south to Eugene because Silas’ Junior Pee Wee Pop Warner team won the chance to play at Autzen Stadium, home of the University of Oregon Ducks. Lunch one day at the 5th Street Public Market food court. A cheeseburger and fries for Silas Henry, a lemongrass chicken bahn mi sammich for myself, and a breakfast burrito for Craig.
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Voodoo Donut surprise. A dirty ‘ole bastard first thing in the morning.
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Also a foggy, cold riverside walk.
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We found a neat arcade in downtown Eugene Friday night.
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And what arcade bathroom would be complete without hand-drawn Tetris graffiti in the bathroom?
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Silas Henry on the big screen at Autzen after a 50-19 win for Ashland, placing them third in state for their football league.
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Duck Bowl Champions.
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Saturday Sites: Week Forty-Five

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  1. Famous movie titles with one letter removed, then the newly titled movies illustrated. Love.

  2. Daylight Savings Time doesn’t exist in my home state of Hawaii. Even after 11 years of living in Oregon, I still think DST sucks. Haha

  3. I had my first bahn mi ever this week. I want more. And perhaps my homemade adventure will begin something like this.

  4. Tater tot nachos? Sounds much better to me than regular nachos. I would probably add more to these, but I like the idea!

  5. This is what it was like when my family who wasn’t from Hawaii would come and visit! (The real painful, funny thing is the incorrectness of the “correct” pronunciations!) GEEZE. :)

  6. I am very curious about this vegetarian sloppy joe.

  7. This article! “Why I Let My Kids Eat Junk Food.” I really, thoroughly enjoyed this read and related to numerous thoughts and ideas that Jaden shared.

  8. I hope I never, never experience a single one of these health “professionals.” (Also, if a doctor ever starts looking for my thyroid in a rectal exam, I may hurt him/her.)

  9. I love, love, love this style of tattoo. Perhaps I shall draw my third one in this fashion!

  10. There are elements in every single one of these kitchens I wish my tiny kitchen had!

  11. I am very curious about this particular soup!

  12. Bwahaha! I love these new suggestions for security questions!

  13. I really love the taste of gingerbread. My grandma always made the best. I’ll guess that these gingerbread muffins would be delicious.

  14. I wish drunken pigs were the main worry I’d have when camping around here!

  15. I’d like these pants, please. In many colors. And then I shall live in them F-O-R-E-V-E-R.

  16. These words are so good. And were so very needed this week.

  17. I’m making it my goal to learn how to be excited about making and eating soup. This West African peanut soup sounds like a good place to start.

  18. I died so many, many times watching this video.

  19. While I knew about the majority of these iPhone hacks, there were a couple I didn’t know yet!

  20. This is inspirational to me. It’s what I would love to do with a majority of our backyard.

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Posole with Roasted Peppers, Pinto Beans and Soyrizo

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I suppose if you cook every day, it’s bound to happen.  I wonder if even the most illustrious chefs experience cooking burnout. Lately I’ve felt as though everything in my kitchen is some variation of just a few standby dishes and frankly, my tastebuds are tired of eating the same damn things.

When I find myself feeling this way, stuck in some cooking rut, my favorite way to get out is to challenge myself. I browse through numerous cookbooks, food blogs, and brainstorm recipes that I can concoct, play with, and experiment with to come up with non-boring food that my family will still enjoy eating.

The following soup was born out of all the above places.  It’s “Mexican food” but not (those terms carry a lot of value in our house!). It’s soup, it has never before made an appearance in my kitchen. It’s filling, warm, spicy without being overwhelming. We ate the entire pot in two days — which, when it comes to soup around this house — also means good things.

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Vegetarian Posole with Roasted Peppers, Pinto Beans and Soyrizo

Serves 8-10 folks (yields about 6 hearty quarts of soup)

Ingredients:
3 anaheim peppers
3 poblano peppers
10 large roma tomatoes, halved *
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 12-ounce tube of Soyrizo
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 25-ounce can of hominy, rinsed and drained
3 cups pinto beans, cooked
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4-1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
5-6 cups No-Chicken or vegetable broth
the juice from 1 large lime
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • If you don’t want to roast your own tomatoes, use can use canned diced tomatoes (one 28-ounce can). I prefer the fire-roasted type.

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Directions:

Roast the peppers: If you have a gas stove, this is easily done by toasting the peppers over an open flame (on high), using tongs to turn the peppers constantly. Once the peppers are nicely blackened on all sides, place in a bowl and then tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. The trapped steam will soften the peppers and loosen their skins. After 15 minutes, pull the stems and seeds out of each pepper. Pull the skins off the pepper. You can also use a paper towel to rub off the loosened skins.

If you are using an oven, turn it on to the broiler setting. Brush each pepper with 1-2 teaspoons of vegetable, sunflower, or another high-smoke point oil. Arrange the peppers on a baking sheet, then place the sheet on the highest rack in your oven. Keeping a close eye on the peppers, remove them once dark, blackened spots appear. As with stove-top roasted peppers, place in a bowl and cover for 15 minutes. Remove the skin and seeds.

Dice the roasted peppers into small bite-sized pieces.

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Roast the tomatoes: Move an oven rack to the highest position in the oven and turn on your broiler. Gently squeeze each halved tomato, releasing some of the gelatinous seeds and juices. Line a large sheet pan with raised sides, with foil. Place each halved tomato cut-side down.

Broil the tomatoes until the skins are blistered and slightly blackened. Rotate the pan a few times for even roasting. This should take 5-10 minutes. Let the tomatoes sit until cool enough to handle and then peel the skins off. Dice each tomato half into four chunks.

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Prepare the soup: In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and saute until translucent. Add the minced garlic and Soyrizo. Cook until the Soyrizo starts to brown (5 minutes or so). Add the diced roasted peppers, stirring to combine everything. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

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Add the zucchini, hominy, beans, carrots, bay leaf, oregano, cumin, salt, coriander,  and chipotle pepper. Stir well. Add the broth, again stirring to mix everything together. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes – 1 hour (longer if you want!).

Right before you’re ready to serve the soup, stir in the lime juice and chopped cilantro. This soup is particularly delicious when served with warm corn tortillas, sour cream, chopped cilantro, lime, and/or shredded cheddar cheese.

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