Cinnamon Cocoa Pull Apart Bread

Cinnamon Cocoa Pull-Apart Bread

Recipe by Alana Buckley
Yield: about 12-16 servings

Ingredients
Dough
7 oz milk (you might need 1.5 oz extra if dough is too dry, but start with 7 oz then add more as needed)
½ T butter
2¼ tsp instant yeast
1 tsp vanilla
3½ cups bread flour
½ cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 large egg yolks (keep the whites to brush at the end)

Recipe Note: In a time crunch, use Crescent Roll dough from the store and lightly roll out the dough to blend the dividing crescent lines, then skip to step “Filling” and follow the rest.

 Filling
6 T salted butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp TCHO Natural Cocoa Powder
2 tsp cinnamon 

Directions
Bread

  1. Heat milk and butter in microwave (or saucepan) together until warm to touch.  Add the yeast and set aside for 10 minutes until the liquid looks frothy on top.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in separate bowl.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients on counter creating a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture, egg yolks, and vanilla to the well.  Mix everything by hand until dough forms.
  4. Knead the dough until the dough is soft and stretchy. You can also knead the dough in a mixer for about 10 minutes.
  5. If the dough looks too dry, add about 0.5 oz of milk (gradually add 0.5 oz at a time until consistency of dough looks soft and stretchy).

Dough Rise

  1. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and place dough ball into the bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for 2-3 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
  2. Deflate/lightly punch down the dough with your fingertips, and let rest for another 30 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
  3. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Filling

  1. Mix together soft butter, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon until well combined.

 Assembly

  1. When the dough is ready, divide into 4 equal balls (weigh them on a scale to be exact if possible). Lightly flour your surface and begin to roll each dough ball out into a 12-inch disc.
  2. Place a plate on top to cut away excess dough with a knife. Remove the plate and place the dough disc onto a prepared baking sheet.
  3. Spread 1/3 of the butter/sugar mix on top of the dough disc.
  4. Roll out a second ball of dough (same as in step 1) and place on top of the butter and sugar mixture.
  5. Repeat with the rest of the dough, layering with each butter/sugar filling. Do not put the butter and sugar mixture on top of the top layer.

Shape into Twists

  1. Place a small cup in the middle of the layered dough and very lightly mark a ring in the center to use as a guide.
  2. Cut the dough first with 4 lines (at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock, and 12 o’clock).  Cut each quarter into 2 pieces, then cut each of those into 2 pieces so you end up with 16 strands connected to the middle circle.
  3. Take 2 strands that are side-by-side and twist them away from each other two times.  Connect the two strands at the end, pinching the ends together. 
    Recipe Note:  Make sure you really pinch them together to avoid separation (like what happened in our recipe photo).  Do this with all of the strands to create a snowflake like design.
  4. Cover the bread loosely with a lightly damp cloth or towel and let rest one more time for 30 minutes.

Bake

  1. While the bread is resting for the final rise, preheat your oven to 350oF.  Beat egg whites a bit with a fork and brush evenly over the surface of the snowflake shaped dough once it has finished its final rest.
  2. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden brown everywhere.
  3. Decorate with a light dusting of powdered sugar and a little extra cinnamon to add a kick of umph!