Caramel Topped Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls on Christmas morning have been a tradition for a while. We’ve made Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, Meyer Lemon Rolls, Caramel Cinnamon Rolls and just plain old traditional Cinnamon Rolls.

The down side to this delicious tradition is that I either have to do all of the work the night before or I have to get up incredibly early.

Not anymore! I recently tried Fleischmann’s® RapidRise Yeast for the first time. I was really impressed how it took time off from baking some of my favorite yeast based breakfast recipes because it only required one rise, making that special morning tradition just a little bit simpler.

Making things another step simpler, was taking our favorite Caramel Cinnamon Rolls and working that concept into Caramel Topped Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread. There was less work to prepare this concept as pull apart bread than as rolled out and sliced cinnamon rolls but the taste was just as yummy.

I hope my family doesn’t mind that we deviate just a little from our Christmas morning tradition this year with some Caramel Topped Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread instead of cinnamon rolls, because this recipe was a winner.

If baking with yeast is something that is intimidating for you, here are a few of my favorite tips for baking with yeast that take some of the mystery out of the process.

5 Tips for Baking with Yeast

Fresh Yeast

I always make sure to check the expiration date on my yeast. If I don’t remember purchasing it then it could have been in the pantry for months (or longer). Old yeast doesn’t yield reliable rising results.

If you don’t think you’ll be baking regularly, buy packets rather than jars of yeast to eliminate waste.

Additionally, you can lengthen the life of yeast by storing it in the refrigerator, but make sure you let it come to room temperature before using.

Equipment

You don’t need fancy equipment to bake bread. Yes, a bread machine, a stand mixer, and a food processor are all nice to have. And they do make the process easier, but your own two hands work just as well.

If you have a stand mixer, by all means: USE IT. But don’t let the lack fancy equipment keep you from making bread.

With a little elbow grease, you’ll find that kneading bread is actually quite satisfying.

Doubled in Bulk

Consider them to be guidelines. My main concern: has the dough doubled in bulk. That is how you know the rise is complete.

Finger Test

Now you’re probably wondering: How do I know that my dough had doubled in bulk?

The simplest method that I have learned over the years is to dust my fingers in flour and plunge them into the dough as the “guideline” recipe rising time nears.

The hole that you make will quickly collapse if it is not ready. Give it another 10 minutes and try again. If the dough is ready the indentations will remain.

What Christmas morning breakfast traditions do you have?

Caramel Topped Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

Ingredients:

For the Dough:
3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 packet Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (whole, 2%, 1% OR skim)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1 egg

For the Caramel Topping:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar

For the Filling:

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Spice Islands® Ground Saigon Cinnamon
1/2 cup butter OR margarine, melted

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a fluted tube pan by generously spraying the inside with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, dry yeast and salt in a large mixer bowl and stir until blended. Combine milk, water and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH in 15 second increments until very warm but not hot to the touch (120° to 130°F. Butter won’t melt completely). Add to flour mixture with egg.

Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in just enough remaining flour so that the dough will form into a ball.

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cover with a towel; let rest for 10 minutes.

For filling, combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.

For the caramel topping, combine the butter, salt and brown sugar in a bowl and beat until well creamed. Spread in the bottom of a fluted tube pan.

Cut dough into 36 pieces. Dip each piece into the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place in fluted tube pan on top of the caramel topping. Combine any remaining butter and sugar and drizzle over rolls. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes .

Bake in preheated 375ºF oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then invert on serving plate.

There’s a sense of pride in sharing something you’ve baked from scratch. With Fleischmann’s Yeast, you won’t be afraid to find your creativity in the kitchen or even get your apron a little dirty. Baking with yeast this holiday season can be as easy as pre-heating the oven. To find out more, visit foodnetwork.com/holidaybaking.
Find more tips for your holiday baking at http://www.breadworld.com/education
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ACH. The opinions and text are all mine.