Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Cups

Adapted from Smells Like Home

For the Dough:

2& 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour, plus more as needed

1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

2& 1/4 tsp Instant Yeast

1/2 tsp Salt

4 tbsp Unsalted Butter

1/3 Cup Milk

1/4 Cup Water

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 Large Eggs

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Filling:

4 tbsp Unsalted Butter

1 Cup Sugar

2 tsp Ground Cinnamon, plus a little more if you like cinnamon like we do

1/2 tsp  Freshly Grated Nutmeg

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Combine the Flour, Sugar, Yeast and Salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook.

Combine the Butter and Milk in a small saucepan and heat just until the butter is melted. Set aside and let cool briefly, until the mixture registers 115-125 degrees F.

Add the milk mixture, Water, Vanilla and Eggs to the mixer bowl.  Mix on low speed until a cohesive dough forms.  Continue to knead until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as needed 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and is tacky but not sticky.  Knead about 3-5 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and cover.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.  (After the dough has doubled, it can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.  Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before proceeding.)

While the dough rises, make the filling. Add the Butter to a small saucepan and melt until browned.  Set aside.  Combine the Sugar, Cinnamon and Nutmeg in a small bowl and mix well.

Once risen, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate.  Roll the dough into a ball, cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes.

Roll the dough out into an approximately 12 x 20-inch rectangle then brush the dough with the browned butter (We used all of the butter here, but I would recommend just a light brushing. Some of the layers were falling apart too easily after baking, I think because we used too much butter). Sprinkle the Cinnamon-Sugar mixture over the dough in an even layer (Don’t skimp here – use all of the mixture because you’ll lose a little as you move through the next couple of steps).

Lightly grease a 6-cup giant muffin pan. Slice the dough vertically into 6 even strips.  Stack the strips on top of each other and again cut again into 6 equal slices. Set one stack of 6 strips into each cup of the prepared pan. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place, 30-45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake 15-20 minutes, until the top is golden brown. (If the top seems to be browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil at the end of baking.) Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan 20-30 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges of each cup to loosen and carefully remove the pull-aparts. Serve warm.

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