Goodness me, when did December sneak up on us? It has been busy as usual here at Cupcakes and Couscous HQ – rounding off campaigns, finishing up the school year and gearing up for a new school next year, Christmas shopping, not mention all the end of year get-togethers which are lovely but make for a very busy time. It is go go go and sometimes you just need a few carbs to keep you going! Today I bring you carbs, and then some.
Years ago I had a recipe for a cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread that I used to make. Unfortunately I seem to have misplaced the folder that it was in (one of the casualties of moving country twice!) but I took the idea and started again to create this recipe. I also added a new twist by dousing it in a cream cheese glaze. This is a great sharing bread – pop it on the table and let everyone dive in.
When it comes to the glaze this step is completely optional. The bread is perfectly delicious on its own and to be honest this is how I usually make it. If, however, you can resist the urge to tear the bread apart and devour it when it’s still warm from the oven and you want to take the deliciousness to a new level then this glaze is fabulous.
- make sure your yeast is fresh and check the expiry date on the pack.
- I have used instant yeast in this recipe as it can be added directly to the flour.
- make sure your milk is warm but not too hot before adding it to the flour. You should be able to poke a fingertip into it for a few seconds without getting third degree burns!
- make sure that your dough has somewhere warm to rise. If it is a warm day you can leave it on the countertop, but if not you will need to find a warm spot – a warm oven is a good place (make sure it is switched off first!).
CINNAMON BREAD WITH CREAM CHEESE GLAZE
For the dough:
- 4 cups plain flour
- 3 tbsp castor sugar
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 2 x 7g sachets instant yeast
- 60g butter, cubed and room temperature
- 350ml warm milk
- 200ml castor sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 70g butter
For the glaze:
- 150g smooth cream cheese
- 1 cup icing sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
1.) Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a bowl. Add the butter and mix or rub in until incorporated.
2.) Add the warm milk and mix until you have a soft dough. Continue to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes (or use the dough hook attachment on your mixer) until it is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
3.) Line the base of a 23cm round cake tin with baking paper and grease the tin well. Combine the castor sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Punch the dough down lightly and halve. Break each half into 20 small pieces and roll the pieces into balls, (you should now have 40 dough balls).
4.) Melt the butter. Dip each ball into the melted butter, and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mix to coat. Arrange 20 of the dough balls in the base of the tin – I found it easiest to put thirteen balls around the edge, another six on the inside of that ring and one in the middle. (Do not worry if there are little gaps in between the dough balls.) Arrange the remaining 20 balls in a second layer on top. Cover lightly with plastic wrap, place on a baking tray and leave to rise for one hour.
5.) Preheat your oven to 200°C. Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until golden and baked through. If you tap the bread it should sound hollow. Leave to cool completely.
6.) Prepare the glaze: place the cream cheese in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar, add the vanilla extract and mix everything together until you have a smooth glaze. Pour over the cooled bread and serve.