Pull it like you mean it


Remember when I wrote a post about cinnamon rolls from Trader Joe’s, and how some of us started talking in the comment section about escargots (or pains aux raisins), some kind of raisin-filled pastry commonly found in Switzerland and France?
This is what this pull-apart thingy reminds me of, but I’m not going to be bashful about it: I’ll boldly say it’s even better.
Now I want to add just a touch of vegan pastry cream to it along with raisins to make it even more escargot-like, but it’ll be for another time. Oooh.

I (clearly) based the concept of this on Flo Braker’s pull-apart coffee cake, using Joy the Baker‘s idea for a cinnamon sugar filling instead.
No offense, lemon, but cinnamon just can’t be beat.


Cinnamon Pull-Apart Brioche:

One recipe brioche dough, right after it took a trip in the fridge (shorter fridge time is fine for this recipe, 2 hours will do)

For the cinnamon filling:

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Flour, to roll out
Water, to brush the rolled-out dough

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.
Punch down the refrigerated dough. Generously (and I do mean generously) sprinkle the counter with flour. Roll out with a rolling pin, or use your hands to press down the dough into an approximately 10 x 15-inch rectangle.
Lightly brush the whole surface of the rolled-out dough with water. Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the whole surface, pressing down gently so that it adheres to the dough.
Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled-out dough lengthwise in four (2.5-inch in width) strips. Be advised that the brioche dough will be very soft.
Place the strips atop each other, with the sugared side looking upward.
Cut into 6 stacks (about 3 inches), width-wise. You’ll have 6 stacks, each one made of 4 layers.
Transfer the stacks carefully into a greased 7.75 inch x 3.75 inch x 2.75 inch pan.
You want to arrange them cut edges up. It will be tight, but it will fit. Be sure to hold the stacks that are already placed in the pan up with one hand as you grab the remaining ones with the other hand.
Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, and let rise 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Line the oven rack with a piece of foil, just in case some cinnamon sugar were to escape. Carefully remove the plastic wrap from the brioche.
Bake the brioche for 40 minutes. Do cover the baking brioche with a piece of foil if the top browns up too quickly, checking after about 25 minutes of oven-time.
Let the brioche cool a few minutes before digging in.

Yield: One loaf of sweet goodness