fat bottom

fat bottom

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

cinnamon pull apart bread

good morning everyone! i hope you all enjoyed your weekend and the beautiful weather we were blessed with yesterday... now it's raining again... booo...
anyways... so if any of you are on pinterest, and you frequent the food and drink section, i'm sure you have come across the delectable cinnamon pull apart bread... one of the best i've seen is by the fabulous "joy the baker"... i love, love her blog... check her out if you get a chance...

so... on saturday afternoon while my boys were busy pretending to be superheros, running a muck saving the universe, i set out to make us something delicious for a sunday morning treat... i love sunday mornings... i love sundays... most people dread the arrival of sunday, but for me... it's the most relaxing, most wonderful day of the week... filled with lots of food, games and crafts, maybe a hike or a fun outdoor activity, sometimes doing some kind of home improvement thingy... you know, full on family time...
so, i knew this recipe had a bit of a prep time, so i figured it would be perfect for sunday... and it was... it really was a delicious treat! a warm, comforting, sweet sunday treat!!

for the dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

for the cinnamon sugar filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted

1. in a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt, set aside
2. whisk together eggs and set aside
3. in a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has just melted... remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract... let mixture stand for a minute or two, or until the mixture registers 115 to 125 degrees
4. pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula
5. add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter... it’ll look like the dough and the eggs are never going to come together, but keep stirring
6. add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes, don't worry the dough will be sticky
7. place the dough is a large, greased bowl... cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel... then place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour *The dough can be risen until doubled in size, then refrigerated overnight for use in the morning. If you’re using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before following the roll-out directions below 8.while the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling
9. melt 2 ounces of butter, set aside and grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan, set that aside
10. deflate the risen dough and knead about 2 tablespoons of flour into the dough, then cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes
11. on a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out... the dough should be 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long
12. use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough, then sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture
13. then slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips
14. stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again, giving you six stacks of six squares
15. layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a book, then place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes until doubled in size
16. now to bake... place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees... bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown
17. remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes... run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread... serve while still warm, and fully enjoy the deliciousness :)
here's the dough after fully doubled, refrigerated, then brought to room temp for about 30 minutes
after it was rolled out, it was smeared with mealted butter, sprinkled generously with cinnamon sugar... the cut into 6 strips (i had a small strip left over... i used that one for a cinnamon roll)
the strips were then stacked...
then sliced again...
 placed in a greased loaf pan to double in size...
now it's doubled in size... time to pop this baby in the oven... i can hardly contain my excitement!  
and here it is 30 minutes later... man, would you look at the delicious masterpiece!!
a delicious close up :)

i hope you have a wonderful day... stay dry... and as always, happy baking!

Friday, May 4, 2012

meyer lemon bars... a taste of spring on a rainy day + a birthday wish

hey everyone... its been awhile... and a lot has been going on over here... i recently returned from an amazing 2 week vacation in France... and i had a fantastic time... the people, the sights, the food and wine... i can't wait to go back :)

i'll post some some pictures soon... but heres just one quick picture of me and my sister

the weather in maine has been very dreary lately.... rain and grey grey skies...not the type of weather that puts a smile on my face, and basically drains me of any and all energy... but i figured something like sunny sweet lemon bars would certainly brighten my day...
and they did :)
is there nothing better then a sweet shortbread crust and subtly sweet and tangy lemon filling...

for the crust: 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
for the lemon filling:
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon grated meyer lemon zest (3 to 4 lemons)
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup flour
+ confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan
2. for the crust: cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
3. combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed
4. place the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball, then flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides
5. bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned... cool on a wire rack
6. for the lemon layer: whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour
7. pour over the crust and bake for about 22-25 minutes, or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set... then let cool to room temperature
8. cut into rectangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar

and now to wish my amazing hubby a very happy birthday :)
 unfortunately he's underway right now... but he'll be home shortly and we can celebrate then... it's been a hectic few months as a family... not being together for more than a few days at a time really sucks, but soon enough we'll be together again...
and that is something i am really looking forward to :)
i love you hubby!!

happy baking everyone... and a very happy birthday to my hubs