Pull Apart Cinnamon Loaves

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The Best Thing I Ever Ate was on the television on Saturday while we were waiting to watch the Habs beat the Penguins 3-0. One of the best things was a cinnamon bun eaten by Guy Fieri in a diner that made a Cinnabon look like its thumbnail view. That sort of thing always makes me throw up in my mouth a little, but David Lebovitz linked to this delicious bread this morning and I got inspired to copycat.

When I see something like this I don’t actually read the recipe, I just see “sweet brioche with sugar butter” and a cool way of baking it. This leads me to a bit of frustration when things don’t out quite the way I wanted them. My dough was a little slow to rise and instead of slicing layers and stacking them, I rolled them up and sliced them like a cinnamon bun. No big deal really, but I know that they would have been even tastier had I been more patient. Well, maybe not tastier, but certainly more supple. I do appreciate the goo factor though since I used quite a bit of raw sugar and maple syrup.

Is icing really necessary? “BLAH! Grumble, grumble,” says my stomach. Touché, stomach. Touché.

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Loaves



  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 2 eggs, room temperature


  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon


  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • (optional) zest of 1 lemon
  • A couple of tablespoons cream


Combine the milk, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let stand for a couple of minutes until the yeast is foamy. Gradually incorporate the flour until it pulls away from the bowl and makes a cohesive mass of dough, then incorporates the salt as well.

Dust a work surface with more flour and knead the dough until it comes together into a nice ball, adding more flour as necessary if it sticks too much to your hands. Return it to the bowl and incorporate the butter, a little bit at a time, until it has been absorbed into the dough. Do it again with the eggs. This is where a stand mixer comes in handy, as this can be quite trying on the elbow grease.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm space and let double in bulk, which can take an hour or two.

When the dough has doubled in bulk, lightly dust your work surface again and roll or press out into a large rectangle. The dimensions don’t really matter as long as the thickness is roughly a uniform 1/4″ and the edges are straight.

Slice the dough lengthwise into four individual strips. Cover one strip with 1/3 of the butter, sugar, syrup, and cinnamon and place another dough strip on top. Repeat with the remaining dough until you have a large multi-layered stack of cinnamon sweetened dough.

Slice 1/2″ cuts into the stack while leaving the shape intact. This will make it easier to transfer them afterward to bread pans. The slices are what allow you to pull each piece apart easily afterward.

Liberally grease four small bread pans. Measure how many slices you will need to fill each and then transfer and press them lightly into the pans.

Place all of the bread pans on a baking sheet and transfer to a warm place to rise again for one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Once the bread has risen again, bake them in the oven until the tops and crisp and golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Once cooled enough to handle, run a knife around the edge of each bread pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature if you wish to ice them, or slather with butter and dig in! You may need to dip the bottom of the pans in hot water or attack with a spoon to loosen the bread if the syrup has hardened too much.

Once the bread have cooled, prepare the icing by gradually whisking the vanilla, lemon zest and enough cream to make a stiff icing. Drizzle over the dough and serve.

One loaf is not a single serving. Unless, of course, you want it to be.

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