I love baking bread. And I love eating food with my hands. And this combines the two. I saw a recipe on Pinterest once that I was so interested in, and I told myself, I shall have to attempt that recipe one of these days. Fast forward 2 years (yes 2 years!) I suddenly remembered reading about this wonderful bread that came into pieces without having to cut it but couldn’t for the love of me remember what it was called, how it was made, just that it was in segments, and that it bears a very close resemblance to brioche or tsoureki.
I decided to look for the image. What I stumbled upon
was even more vibrant and colourful and this recipe and its photos caught my attention. It was with lemon sugar and icing. I had a lot of dark brown sugar that I was itching to finish up, and voilà, I decided to adapt it and make it into a dark, mollassey cinnamony sugary mess of a bread.
I was very glad to have used the dark brown sugar – it lent a smoky flair to the bread, its super gooey and when its warm, you can slather some butter on a slice. Granted, I didn’t exactly stack the bread up properly and it does look a bit tad messy but trust me, you will not care how it looks like after a bite. Or 2. Or 10.
Ingredients: (makes 2 small loaves)
350g of all-purpose flour
50g of caster (white) sugar
7g sachet of fast acting yeast
1/2 tsp of salt
80ml of whole milk
60g of butter
60ml of water
1 vanilla pod
100g of dark brown sugar
3 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of ground nutmeg
1. In a stand mixer bowl, add 300g of the flour, sugar, yeast and salt, and mix thoroughly. Leave aside.
2. Heat up the milk with the vanilla pod sliced open.(Scrape the seeds out and add it into the milk.) Once the milk has started to boil, remove from heat. Remove the vanilla pod and add the butter to the mix so the butter will melt slowly. Once the butter has melted, add the water into the mix and stir. The liquid mix should be lukewarm, if not, leave it to cool slightly.
3. Using the dough-mix extension/paddle, slowly add the wet ingredients mix to the dry ingredients on slow speed until the dough is mixed well.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to mix on slow speed.
5. Add the rest of the flour (50g) and continue mixing until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky.
6. Continue the ‘kneading’ for about another 7 minutes on low. Remove the dough into a greased/oiled bowl, and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave to rest in a warm airy place for about 30-40 minutes until the size has doubled.
7. While the bread is rising, in a bowl, mix the filling ingredients thoroughly.
8. Deflate and roll the dough out into a rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into strips.
9. Brush the top of the strips with melted butter. Sprinkle the sugar filling on top of each buttered strip and stack them on top of each other, like below.
10. Cut them into smaller squares/rectangles that can fit into a sandwich bread loaf tin, halfway up.
11. Fit the stacks into a greased loaf tin, sideways, like below. Cover with a tea towel, and leave it to rise again for another 30-40 minutes or until it has risen to fill in the loaf tin.
12. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
13. Brush the top with more melted butter, and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar filling.
14. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
15. Remove from oven. Leave it to cool in the loaf tin until you can actually remove the bread without scalding your hands.
16. Serve warm or at room temperature, on its own or with some butter.