Sugar & Cinnamon pull-apart Bread

11 December 2012


I came across Joy the Baker a while ago - her recipes are to die for and as soon as I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it.

It does take a lot of patience but it is SO worth it - we had it for breakfast this weekend - it fills you up and goes oh so well with a cup of tea or coffee.

Ingredients for the dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for the filling:

1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted until browned
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside.
Whisk together eggs and set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has just melted. Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract. Let mixture stand for a few minutes.
Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter.  
Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be sticky. That’s just right.
Place the dough in a large, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel.
Put in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
(I made the dough the night before and just left it to rise, alternatively you can refigerate after it has risen).
While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling. Set aside.
Melt 2 ounces of butter until browned. Set aside. Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Set that aside too.
Deflate the risen dough and knead about 2 tablespoons of flour into the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to as large as the dough will go. 
Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough. Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture. 
Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips. Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again. You’ll have six stacks of six squares.
Put the stacked squares into the tin. Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size (I only did this for about 15 minutes - my patience was wearing thin!!).
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 180 degrees C. Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is dark golden brown.  Be careful to make sure that you do not take the bread out to early as it may be brown on the top but raw in the middle.

Remove from the oven and eat as quickly as possible - seriously this bread will go fast!!
Happy Baking x


29 November 2012

I always find that once September arrives the years starts to fly by.  November has not disapointed, days turn into weeks and before we know it Christmas will be upon us.  November has been a month of reading, DIY, beautiful sunsets, drinking tea, wearing cosy slippers and bracing the cold.

When you need a bit of inspiration

28 November 2012

Sometimes in life we need a bit of inspiration.  Something to pick us up, wake us up.  To kick us into action or make us realise how very lucky we are.  For me, sometimes its as little as a passing conversation, an experience, a book, a friend or even an advert...

The other day I was watching tv and an advert came on. It inspired me.  It gave me motivation.  It made me think.  I love it and I had to share it.


 Here are the words. Share this and inspire someone else too.

Welcome to life. The great unknown.

It starts with a cry… the first of many.

First step. First day. First time.

Childhood friends. Playground bullies.

Fractured families. Come of age and fly the nest.

Ambitions to be the best. Loss of innocence, life changing event…

Console each other, restore each other. Travel the world to find one another.

Keep in touch. Out and proud. The quiet, the loud.

We love. We hate. Build. Destroy Create.

Celebrate. Discriminate. Rise up and demonstrate.

We starve. Consume. From bus to boom.

The fast lane. Fast food. Bad moods.

We express ourselves. Undress ourselves.

Allow this life to stress ourselves.

We take life. We make life. Record it. Observe it.

Do everything we can to preserve it.

Break the mould. Make the rules. Choose a God.

Do not suffer fools. We share it. Grin and bear it.

Lose it all. Find the drive.

We strive to thrive because…
We are alive. Welcome to life.

A weekend in Wales

27 November 2012

This weekend we travelled to Wales for Mani's birthday - we left on Friday morning, arriving in Llanridian just before dusk so we had a peek of the beautiful view before dark. A lovely time was had by all and although the weather was pretty atrocious it was good to get away and have a break from it all.

We stayed at Windmill Farm Cottages which are nestled on a working farm overlooking the beautiful Gower peninsula. An ideal location tucked away from it all but only a short drive to popular sites and a good pub just down the road.

Spending time with family and enjoying a view, a pub lunch, a giggle and a long drive on the coast is what its all about - even in the rain.


Dream Bars

25 November 2012

My sister's Grade 2 teacher gave my mom this recipe - I made these tonight for the first time in years and I had forgotten how very decadent these little bars are. 


120g Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons Cocoa
1 tspn vanilla extract
120g Flour
1 tspn baking powder
1/2 cup rolled oats, coconut, bran or a mixutre of these (I used oats and coconut)


Melt the butter, remove from stove and add sugar and beaten egg.  Mix well.
In a bowl, mix together dry ingredents and then blend in the butter mixture. 
Add vanilla.
Spread mixture in a greased tin or baking dish and bake @ 180 deg for approx. 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping.
Melt one tablespoon butter in four tablespoons of boiling water. 
Stir in 1 cup of icing sugar along with 2 tablespoons of cocoa (both sieved).
Mix Well.

Spread over baked mixture while hot.
Set aside to cool and enjoy x

Restored Frames

20 November 2012

Frames and pictures - in my opinion you can never have to many in your home.  The thing is, I like to chop and change the pictures in the frames which can be a chore at times, depending on the frame.  So, as always, Pinterest inspired me to do this litte project.

{Idea from Shelterness}

So I collected my old frames which we used to have in the flat and spraypainted them gloss black.
I was so chuffed with the way they came out. I then hammered some small nails on the frame and hung some twine.

I bought some cute mini-pegs and pegged my photos to the twine. They are hanging proudly in the kitchen - the hub of our home.

Perfect. And I love the way we can swap and change the photos.  I also added a few of my favourite quotes.  (I LOVE quotes, they inspire me and help me remember the little things).


Carrot Cupcakes

19 November 2012

Nothing warms the soul more than a cup of tea and a cake in these cold months.  Here is a recipe I tried for the first time on Saturday - they were delicious and easy to make.

Carrot Cupcakes


  • 2 large eggs
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 150ml sunflower oil
  • 200g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 x 200g tub Soft Cheese
  • 50g golden icing sugar, sifted

  • Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Place 12 paper muffin cases in a deep bun or muffin tin.
    2. Put the eggs, sugar and oil in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
    3. Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the flour, spice, grated carrot, vanilla extract and half the orange zest, until thoroughly combined.
    4. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases then place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
    5. For the frosting, beat together the soft cheese and icing sugar until smooth. Chill until ready to use. Spread liberally over the cooled cakes and top with the remaining zest, or, as shown, make long strips of zest using a zester.
     Happy Baking x


    15 November 2012

    I can spend hours reading blogs, they inspire me and make me yearn for a life of blogging, crafting and baking as a business.

    There are hundreds and thousands of blogs out there but I have my favourites which I look at everyday without fail.  I cannot tell you what stands out from these, I think its the style of writing, their ideas and way of life which I love and makes me look forward to opening up their blog with a cup of coffee and having a good ol' read.

    Elise Blaha Cripe's blog enJOY it is by far my my favourite read each day.  Her style of writing is so simple and enjoyable and her projects are inspiring as well as her business ethics.

    Elsie & Emma's A Beautiful Mess is surely the most popular blog out their, with hundreds of thousands of views each day her little business has grown and what an inspiration it is.

    I only recently came across Torie Jayne - I love her color style and got my ideas for our downstairs cloakroom colour scheme from her laundry room and cloakroom post.

    Nikki & Nicolas (and Banjoe the bulldog too) is a brilliant read, a fellow Capetonian who writes about making her house a home along with everyday musings and never forgetting their gorgeous bulldog, Banjoe.

    Happy blogging (and reading!) x

    Daily Dose of Wisdom

    30 October 2012

    Location: The Strand, Somerset West, South Africa
    Camera: iPhone 3GS
    Effect: [Amaro]
    Quote: Rabindranath Tagore

    Daily Dose of Wisdom

    Location: My desk, Oxford
    Camera: iPhone 3GS
    Effect: Wood Camera [paper]
    Quote: Robert Frost

    Pumpkin Carving

    Last night I carved our pumpkins - I am really chuffed with how they look.  I saved the pumpkin seeds and they are currently roasting in the oven (1 tspn olive oil, 1 tspn garlic salt, pinch of seasoning salt at 180 deg in the oven for 15 minutes) for an evening snack.

    I attempted to carve a little cat but it didn't work but he looks cute anyhow.

    Happy Halloween!

    Autumn Decor

    25 October 2012

    Autumn. My favourite.
    Crunching the leaves on the ground as you walk, an array of beautiful golds, browns and reds on the trees, wearing chunky woollen scarves, cooking comfort food in the evenings.
    These are just a few of my favourite things that I savour at this time of year.

    I wanted to spruce up the house a bit to celebrate the season.  Something simple and colourful.
    I came across this gorgeous little garland on Pinterest which gave me some inspiration.  
    {What. No Mints?}
     So after digging around in my boxes (and boxes) of stuff I have I came up with my own little garlands which are now hanging proudly in our windows.  I gathered some scraps of autumn colour card, cut out some maple leaf shapes and decorated them with some gold paint I had.  I threaded the twine through the leaves and also used some mini pegs.  Pumpkins due to be carved this weekend!  And I took a photo of our kitchen which is looking lovely and homely too.


    Happy Autumn x

    Leafield Photo Walk

    16 October 2012

    We are still newbies to our little village, Leafield, but it is starting to feel more like home everyday.  On Saturday we decided to go down to our local pub, The Fox and have a spot of lunch.  We walked the 10 minutes through the village to get there (as we live on the outskirts) and I took a few snaps on the way.  It was a beautiful day, albeit a little chilly!  I love cotswold villages with their little cottages and quaint roads.  Our little house still has a long way to go to get it to want we want but that is all part of the fun.  I dream of pretty sage colour wooden windows, pansies and tulips in the front and decorative paving to replace the tarmac.  One day it will soon look like a little cottage, but we need to concentrate on the inside first.

    Autumn is settling in fast and I cannot wait for our central heating to be installed.  Hopefully this time next week it will be complete.  Plus our new bathroom and cloakroom will be finished too.  Excitement!  We have basically finished the lounge which is feeling super cosy and homely with the new couch and my craft/study area sorted.  The kitchen ceiling needs a lick of paint and once the pictures are up that will be complete too.  Then we can concentrate on the bedrooms.  Still lots to look forward to!

    Our little House

    I saw this on a car we passed. We are everywhere. hehe


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