Thank you to Loblaws for sponsoring this blog post.
The holidays are officially here! It’s time to decorate my house from floor to ceiling, attend Christmas parties and eat lots of delicious treats because calories during the holidays don’t count ;). We have a big family and no matter where we’re celebrating, I’m always in charge of dessert – something I’m definitely not mad about! My last and final challenge for Loblaws’ Food Lovers Unite is to create a festive centerpiece that doubles as a dessert! Challenge accepted!
I usually do my grocery shopping at the Loblaws on Lower Jarvis. It’s very convenient because it’s located between my home and my workplace. One great thing about Loblaws is I can always count on them to carry any ingredient I need regardless of how big or small a party I’m hosting! Plus, there’s always something new in store that sparks my creativity!
With the holidays here and the unpredictable weather, there’s no telling if we’ll have a white Christmas so I decided to bring the snow inside by making a giant snowflake cinnamon pull-apart bread centerpiece! It’s made with simple ingredients but is definitely a showstopper! I also picked up some other treats to dress up my holiday dessert table – rich dark chocolate to make hot chocolate, buttery Rudolph shortbread cookies, Santa coconut macaroon hats and the cutest mini gingerbread men. Alright, let’s make this snowflake bread
Here’s your grocery list:
- All-purpose flour
- Whole milk
- Unsalted butter
- Ground cinnamon
- Active dry yeast
This snowflake cinnamon pull-apart bread is fluffy, gooey and super festive!
It’s a very easy dough to make, but it does take patience waiting for the dough to rise. I always start by proofing my yeast, just to make sure it’s active. The worst thing would be to make the full recipe and realize your yeast is longer good to use, yes it happened to me! Once the yeast is foaming away, toss in all the ingredients, give it a quick mix and then switch to a dough hook to work it until its soft and elastic.
Once it’s risen, portion the dough into 4 equal balls. Roll each dough out to about 10-12 inches, brush it with softened butter and the best part, generously sprinkle with cinnamon sugar filling. Once you’ve repeated this process with all the dough, you’ll have layers and layers of cinnamon goodness.
Now the fun part, lightly score the center of the dough with the rim of a glass. Then start cutting the dough in four, then in half and then in half again to equal 16 pieces uniform all the way around.
Take two pieces, twist them outwards 2-3 times and pinch the ends together to seal. Repeat the process all the way around until you have something that resembles a pretty snowflake :).
You’ll want to let it rise again for at least 30 minutes. Lastly, give it a shiny brush of egg wash to help it golden beautifully. Bake for 25-30 minutes and once you smell it baking, you’ll be hooked!
Serve the snowflake pull apart bread while it’s warm, although let’s be real, it’ll be good at any temperature. The bread is perfectly sweet as is but if you want to step it up, serve with a cream cheese glaze or chocolate sauce for dipping. Delish. Okay, I’m officially hungry.
What are some of your favourite foods to celebrate the holidays?
Happy baking and happy holidays!
Snowflake Pull Apart Bread
- 1 cup whole milk warmed to 110F
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 1/2 tsp salt
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 stick unsalted butter very soft
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk
Making the Dough
Preheat oven to 150F then turn off.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm milk, sugar and sprinkle in yeast. Cover with a kitchen towel and let proof for 5-10 minutes.
Once it has proofed, add the eggs, butter, flour, cornstarch, salt and vanilla. Mix with a paddle attachment, on low until just incorporated and then switch to a dough hook and knead for 5 minutes on medium. The dough will be soft and elastic.
Transfer the dough to a large, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise in the warm oven for 90 minutes.
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
In the mean time, make the cinnamon sugar by combining the brown sugar and ground cinnamon.
Rolling the Dough
Divide the dough into 4 equal balls. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 10-12 inches wide. Brush on the softened butter and sprinkle generously with 1/3 of the sugar filling.
Repeat with the next ball of dough. Roll, brush, sprinkle. Leave the top layer plain.
Grab a glass about 3-4 inches wide and slightly press it into the centre of the dough, this will make up the middle of the snowflake. With a sharp knife, cut into the centre making 16 equal pieces going all the way around. An easy way to do this is to cut into 4, then in half and then in half again.
Grab two strands, twist them outwards 2-3 times and pinch the ends together to seal. Repeat the process all the way around. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Brush the snowflake with egg wash and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes and serve warm.
Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest.