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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Yeast Breads ~ Sweet Pull-Apart Bread

Event: Blogging marathon #40
Theme: Yeast based breads

I saw a monkey bread for the first time on American TV, about 15 years ago. The idea of pulling apart the chunks of bread seemed fascinating at that time. I have been planning  a pull apart bread since then and somehow the opportunity never came until now. In my quest, I landed at this recipe which was on the similar lines of a monkey bread. This recipe doesn't need the biscuits and the added bonus was my kids love cinnamon flavored bakes. The recipe uses bread machine and is easy, no fuss kind recipe. Recently I had stowed away my bread machine in the basement and was lazy to bring it up and so I hand kneaded the dough and baked in the convection oven instead. 
This recipe is very simple and reliable. There are no surprises springing up at you during any steps of the bread making and so even for novice bakers, it is good recipe to try. The dough balls are usually arranged in a bundt pan or cake pan but I layered them in a loaf pan. The shape wouldn't matter if you ask me since you are going to pull apart the pieces anyway to devour them. As expected, my kitchen was filled with cinnamon flavor while baking and the kids' who stepped into home a little later were inquiring whether I was baking any cinnamon buns. The texture of the bread pieces is somewhere between a cake and a bread. I have considerably reduced the brown sugar quantity when I made this bread and probably that's why it was not very gooey. That's a good thing if you ask me. The pieces were not sticking to your fingers and yet the bread was not bland. When you first bite into a bread piece, you encounter the sweetness but as you take more bites, the sweetness subsides because only a small quantity of sweetener went into the dough making. This was more than a super hit at my home and the bread was gone in about a day. 

Ingredients for the dough:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
4 tbsp butter
1& 1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla

Ingredients for topping:
1/4 cup melted butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar mixed with 1 tbsp cinnamon
Bread machine method:
* Place all the dough ingredients into the bucket of a bread machine. Program the machine for dough and press start. After about 10 minutes of kneading, check the dough's consistency. It should be soft and smooth; though it should form a ball and clean the bottom and sides of the bucket. If necessary, adjust the consistency with additional flour and water and allow the machine to complete it's cycle.
* Lightly flour the work surface if needed. Divide the dough into 32 small pieces and shape them into balls. Dip the balls in the melted butter and roll them in the cinnamon - sugar mixture. Layer them in the bucket.
* Place them in the bucket, close the lid and allow the bread to rise until doubled, for about an hour. 
Program the machine for bake only, 65 minutes, light crust and press start.
* Let the bread stand for a few minutes when the baking cycle is complete. Remove the bucket from the machine and turn the bread out onto a serving platter.

Manual method:
* If preparing the dough manually, combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead by hand for about 8 - 10 minutes. The final dough would be smooth and pliable, leaving not any residue on your fingers.
 * Lightly flour the work surface if needed. Divide the dough into 32 small pieces and shape them into balls.

* Dip the balls in the melted butter and roll them in the cinnamon - sugar mixture. 

*  I had lined the pan with foil as I didn't want to ruin the pan with those sugar stains.
* Place them in a loaf pan, cover it and allow to rise until doubled, for about an hour.

* Preheat the oven to 350 deg F / 175 deg C. Bake the bread for about 40 to 45 minutes.

* Let the bread stand for about 5 minutes and flip it on the serving platter. Serve warm.
* If serving on the next day, just zap them in microwave for few seconds before serving.



vaishali sabnani said...

Oh I am loving this. .I love breads but dome how dont have the patience. .cant wsit fir these proofings..but I must take inspiration from you.

Hamaree Rasoi said...

So soft and delicious looking bread. It looks simply awesome and delicious.

Srivalli said...

Suma, the way you have account the feeling when eating this, makes me want to make this right away!..I have made some similar breads like this..though right now don't remember if the measurement is the same..I am going to simply make this..:)..the final picture looks so amazing!

Priya Suresh said...

Cinnamon breads are my weakness, pull apart bread looks absolutely stunning.

nandoos Kitchen said...

bread looks great..

Pavani N said...

I think my son will like this bread. I tried pizza flavored pull apart bread recently and this sweet bread sounds yummy!!

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

I like how you have baked them in a loaf pan. This is a lovely treat with the coffee!

Harini-Jaya R said...

I have been eyeing the monkey bread for a while too. These little ones look so tempting. I was wondering if active dry yeast could be used instead of the instant one.

Varadas Kitchen said...

I have made savory pull apart bread before. Your sweet version looks really good.