There is nothing better than cinnamon and yeast together, unless it's a bread you can pull apart and maple is included in the icing!
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Cinnamon. Put those 3 words together along with some other ingredients and you have my mouth salivating.
I am just love warm, yeasty, cinnamon bread. Cinnamon rolls have always been a fave of mine. I was very happy when my wife decided she wanted to try the Pioneer Woman's Pull Apart Cinnamon Bread a couple mornings ago.
In this case I sat on the sidelines while she prepared this wonderful bread. I thought I would interview her to tell us all about the recipe.
❓ Why did you want to make this recipe?
Traditionally my mother would make a delicious cinnamon sugar sticky rolls (dough balls rolled in butter and cinnamon sugar and then baked in a round pan) for Christmas morning every year when I was a child. I wanted to make something similar to capture those flavors for my children to enjoy.
I also have loved every single recipe of Ree's that we've tried, so I had good faith that this one would be a winner. The maple glaze seemed interesting, read below for how I felt about that!
❓ Tell us more about the process you used
Ree mixes her dough by hand in the same pot she uses to warm the wet ingredients. I decided to use my stand mixer with dough hook. That choice saved my arms, and I had more confidence that the ingredients would be well incorporated.
I warmed the wet ingredients in a saucepan and then transferred them to my mixer bowl and proceeded to use the mixer to add in the flour for the first and second additions.
I followed the recipe as it is written, except for the last addition of flour I had to add another cup of flour to get the consistency I was looking for. The dough was still very soft and sticky, but easy to roll out.
When stacking the squares into the loaf pan I was a little worried that they wouldn't look "pretty" when finished because they were slumping down, but they rose in the oven perfectly.
? Tip - If you want to make your bread looks super elegant, get one of the Pioneer Woman's loaf pans. Super pretty and make for an excellent presentation at the table.
❓ What was your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge was stacking up the strips of dough, since they were very soft. But with a little help from my extra wide fish turner I was able to get them lifted and stacked. It was also unclear in the recipe if it was going to make 2 loaves or 1, but it turned out to make 2 loaves perfectly.
❓ What did you like about this bread?
My favorite part about this bread is the maple glaze. I could just eat that by itself with a spoon...(well, I might have done that!) I would recommend a double batch of the glaze, to make sure every nook and cranny gets covered. Believe me, you won't regret it!
I love the addition of salt in the glaze, it gives it a salted caramel type of flavor, one of my favorite! The bread itself was soft and buttery, and the little crusty bits that caramelized between the slices were just like my mom's sticky rolls. It brought me a little closer to home when I miss her the most, at Christmastime.
❓ Is there anything you would improve or do differently next time?
I think next time I would cut the recipe in half. One loaf was enough for our family of 5 to have their fill for breakfast, and the leftovers were not gooey and soft like the first loaf was.
I'd like to try making the double batch dough and freezing or refrigerating half of it to see if it would work that way. Fresh is best with pastry, always.
Thank you Donna! The best part of the bread was the maple glaze for sure. I cleaned off the little spatula you see in the photos myself! The leftover bread left a lot to be desired, which I did of expected, but was hoping for the best. I did thoroughly enjoy it hot out of the oven.
? Shopping List
Here is what you will need for this recipe
- Whole Milk
- Cooking Oil
- Active dry yeast
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Ground cinnamon
- Powdered sugar
- Maple extract or syrup
Her recipe called for maple extract, but we wanted to use syrup instead, so we did. I am from the midwest, so you got to have the real stuff.
You could also up the spice game with ground ginger, nutmeg, and/or cloves. Or you could dice up some apples real small and add them to the dough - that would be amazing.
Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread
For the dough
For the cinnamon sugar
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
For the icing
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 1 tbsp maple syrup darker the better
To make the dough
- Combine the milk, oil, and ½ cup of sugar in a tall sauce pan such as a stock pot. Heat it over medium heat. Stop it before it comes to a boil. Allow it to cool til it's pleasant to the touch.
- Sprinkle the yeast on top.
- Add 4 cups of flour and mix well inside the pot. Put a lid on the pot and allow it to rise for an hour.
- After 1 hour add in an additional ½ cup of flour along with the baking soda, baking powder, and the salt. If the dough is too sticky to work with add more flour, ¼ cup at a time until you can work with it.
- You can place the dough into the fridge for an hour to make it easier to work with. It's your choice.
- Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface. Roll the dough out to about an inch thickness.
- Drizzle on 1 stick of melted butter. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and mix well to combine. Sprinkle it all over the surface of the dough. Use it all, even if it looks like too much.
- Cut the dough into 8 strips. Then stack all of the strips on top of one another, making it as even as you can.
- Now cut that stack into 6 equal pieces and place it into a well buttered or oiled bread pan. Try not to cram the slices in.
- Cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes while your oven preheats to 350 degrees
- Uncover and bake for 30 minutes, checking at the 20 minute mark. If it's browning too much at this point, cover lightly with foil. Don't pull it early or the middle might still be too doughy.
- Pull the pan from the oven. Run a butter knife along the edges and remove the bread from the pan.
Adding the icing
- Combine melted butter, powdered sugar, and maple syrup into a bowl.
- Immediately drizzle on top of the bread. It's ready to serve. Bread is best the day you make it.
- If you want to, you can use your mixer with the dough hook attachment to mix the dough once the milk, sugar, and oil have been heated up, and chilled enough.
- You can start the dough in your Instant Pot if you like. Use the saute button to heat up the milk, sugar, and oil. Then put on keep warm while the dough rises. Check on it half way through to see how it's rising.