Last week, I made the Death by Chocolate brownies from the Bobbette & Belle cookbook. They were a great success, so I thought I’d try something else from the book.
I mentioned before that I have been on a cinnamon bun kick lately. I haven’t found many places in Squamish that make cinnamon buns. Zephyr Cafe unexpectedly makes a FANTASTIC c-bun, but I’m open to any suggestions my fellow Squamptoninans might have for recommended cinnamon buns.
The Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread recipe from the Bobbette & Belle cookbook looked intriguing. It wasn’t a traditional cinnamon bun recipe, but the recipe intro promises: “Our cinnamon pull-apart bread is like a cinnamon bun double whammy”. Say no more.
I have actually only made cinnamon buns once before – years ago, with my friends Charlotte and Meghan. I remember it took a LOT of time. There were many hour-long waiting breaks that we filled by watching TV. It turns out that this recipe required a fair bit of waiting, too. If only I had Gossip Girl on PVR this time around!
I began by making the bread, remembering to pick up fresh yeast (if you, like me, always seem to have a single packet of yeast in the back of your cupboard that expired 2 years ago, resist the temptation to use it. It is dead. It will kill your dough.) I obediently kneaded the bread by hand for a full 10 minutes until it was, as described in the book, smooth and elastic. Next up: covering it in plastic wrap and waiting an hour until it doubled in size.
An hour later, it definitely hadn’t doubled in size. I noticed an aside on the page that suggested popping the bowl on top (not inside of) an oven set to 250 degrees. I gave this a go, allowing it another 30 minutes or so. When I checked in on it, it had grown. On to the next step.
This is where the instructions got a little murky. I wished for step-by-step photographic instructions, but the book didn’t have them. Not to worry: I took some for you.
“Pat [the dough] into a rectangle approximately 12 x 20 inches.”
Pat? As in… pat a dog? I patted the dough for awhile, but it did not get anywhere near to 12 x 20 inches. I tried stretching it and tossing it like pizza dough, but that didn’t work either. Eventually, I just took out my rolling pin and “patted” it with the pin.
“Spread a generous amount of the soft butter all over the dough.”
“Spread” usually means with your hands, so I just went for it: I picked up the butter and attempted to smear it around the dough. It mostly worked, although I did tear the dough in one place. My hands ended up in a buttery mess. I had to use dish soap to wash them, and I ended up covering the dish soap bottle in butter, so now every time I pick up the bottle, my hands get greasy. On the plus side, they are very well moisturized.
“Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cleanly cut the dough into 6 strips 2 inches wide and 20 inches across.”
Here, I am thinking “Please don’t ruin our counter tops. Please don’t ruin our counter tops.”
“Gently stack the strips on top of each other.”
Okay, this is easy – except the strips on the edges are a little shorter than the others. But that’s okay.
“Cut across the pile to create 6 equal stacks.”
Not going to lie – I had to read this instruction like, three times, to really get it. Originally I just cut across it in half. What it should read is, “Cut across the pile five times to create six equal stacks.”
“With the cinnamon side facing inward, stack 2 rectangles upright in the pan, touching one side of the pan… Place another 2 rectangles so they touch the other side of the pan. Continue to alternate the rectangles, making sure the cinnamon sides face the same direction, except for the last rectangle”
I JUST realized it said to stack 2 rectangles. I stacked one stack at a time. See how this gets confusing? I think maybe I was supposed to dismantle my six stacks into three two-rectangle stacks each, so 18 two-rectangle stacks total. Oh well.
There was also some confusion of the orientation of the dough stacks/rectangles in the loaf pan. But again, oh well.
I waited another 45 minutes, as per the directions, to let the dough puff up a bit. Then, into the over it went for 30 minutes (rotating half way, as one does).
Then came the big decision: to glaze or not to glaze.
The primary “for” argument is that the recipe calls for a cream cheese glaze. If I’m going to make a recipe, I should make it all the way through, right? Plus, chances were good that it was going to taste delicious.
On the “con” side was the fact that I’d have to go out and buy a brick of cream cheese just for some drizzle. The recipe looked pretty sweet as-is – did it really need a glaze?
Obviously, the pro side won. NO REGRETS!
So the final verdict:
- It actually kind of looked like the picture in the book; and
- IT TASTED DIVINE!
It tasted at LEAST as good as the Zephyr one, and it tasted EVEN BETTER the next day. Bobbette & Belle, you’re two for two. Let’s see what recipe #3 brings…
(To be continued).