Monthly Archives: November 2013

Cinnamon Crunch Skillet Bread

I saw a recipe on Pinterest that was described as a cross between monkey bread and cinnamon roll. The sound of it reminded me of my favorite Great Harvest bread Cinnamon Chip. I knew I would have to make it ASAP.

I tried to make this for/with my pals the other day but failed to read through the entire recipe to note that the dough required an two periods of resting time totaling about 1.5 hours. (Bolding that, in case you are like me!) Oops. So, make this recipe a day ahead, or start it early if you are a really nice early bird and want to make a delicious breakfast treat. Maybe just don’t make it when you invite people over who are really hungry!

This recipe IS super easy, but the way it was written, it looks elaborate. I’m going to break it down step by step.

Cinnamon Crunch Skillet Bread
serves 8+  // recipe adapted from Seasons and Suppers

STEP ONE: Make the dough
Ingredients
3 cups all purpose flour
3 Tbsp. white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. fine salt
3 tsp. instant or dry active yeast
1 cup milk, warmed to 105-110° F.
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter

Step One Directions:
1. Proof the yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water, if you are using dry active yeast.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
3. Add the warmed milk, vegetable oil and proofed (or instant, which I love) yeast.
4. Knead with the dough hook until dough is smooth, adding more flour by the Tbsp. as necessary. I did not have to use any more flour.
5. Remove dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise to doubled, about 60 minutes.

STEP TWO: Roll the dough out20131117-141019.jpg
Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Sept two directions:
1. Clean your counters! Grease a 8-10″ oven safe cast iron skillet.
2. Divide dough into two pieces and roll into a rope about 3 feet long.
3. Liberally brush with melted butter mixed with the vanilla.

STEP THREE: Coat the dough in brown sugar20131117-141038.jpg
Ingredients
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Step three directions:
1. Pour the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly alongside the buttered ropes and then roll the ropes in the mixture until evenly covered.
2. Pinch the end of the ropes together and then twist them together, pinching the other end once all twisted together.
3. Place twisted ropes into the skillet, starting from the centre and winding it around. (If you have some melted butter left over from brushing, feel free to drizzle it over the dough).
4. Cover the skillet with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, it takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes.

STEP FOUR: Make the ‘crunch’ part of the recipe, bake! 20131117-141049.jpg
Ingredients
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, cold
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Step four directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Prepare the streusel topping by combining dry ingredients and cutting in the cold butter with a fork. Set aside.
3. Once dough is doubled, sprinkle with streusel topping and bake for for 40-45 minutes, covering it with foil after 25 or 30 minutes if is dark enough.

STEP FIVE: Make the icing/glaze
1 cup powdered/confectioners sugar
3-4 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of alt

Step five directions: 
1. Add the milk to the powdered sugar. Stir well until smooth.
2. Add in the melted butter, vanilla and a tiny pinch of salt.
3. Pour evenly over bread once it has cooled a bit. Truth be told, I only used HALF of the icing, and then took half in a bowl for everyone to spoon over their bread.

STEP 6: Look at how fancy the recipe you just made is! Eat!
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I took this to a football (watching) party. NOT your typical football snack, but why not. These photos are a little blurry as I was running out the door. Sorry, but football waits for no one, apparently.

The dough was light and sort-of reminiscent of a croissant. The top was crusty and the bottom was gooey. This would taste best a little warm and fresh out of the oven with some coffee.

This is my 100th post. I’ll take my medal any time.

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Pumpkin muffins

I invited Kate, Meg and Anna over to hang out and bake something elaborate yesterday. I had what I thought was the perfect recipe… except I failed to read the entire thing before we got started. After I realized it would take about 2.5 hours from start to finish and we were all getting hangry, I quickly (and secretly) googled muffin recipes and found this one. And it was a winner.20131116-203733.jpg

Pumpkin Muffins
serves 12+ // recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Muffin Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 cup to 1 1/3 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15 ounce can, not pumpkin pie filling, which is sweetened and spiced)
1/3 cup vegetable or another neutral cooking oil
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

Topping
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put liners in 12 standard-sized muffin cups.

2. Stir or whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spice in medium bowl.

3. In a larger bowl, or in your stand mixer bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs and 1 1/4 cups sugar.

4. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just combined. Divide batter among muffin cups (each about 3/4 full).

5. Stir together topping, tablespoon of sugar and teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle over each muffin.

6. Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 22-27 minutes.

7. Cool in pan on a rack for 3-4 minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.

pumpkin muffins

you will see the other recipe I started in the background, hanging out.

This recipe is so easy I made it from start to finish in about 30 minutes. The muffins are moist and fluffy, with a nice but not too sweet pumpkin flavor. My recipe turned out to fill more than the 12 muffin tins so I made a tiny little loaf of pumpkin muffin-bread. It worked perfectly.

I feel like these might even pass for cupcakes if you put enough frosting on them. In other words, they are delicious.

Stay tuned for that time-consuming, elaborate recipe tomorrow… which turned out to be just as easy. Oops.