I like butts.
Bread butts, that is.
More formally put, these are the end-most pieces of a loaf.
Most people probably don’t like them. After all, who wants to eat bread butt sandwiches, bread butt toast, or bread butt pudding?
Many bread consumers buy loaves and avoid the bread butts altogether. By the time the loaves’ innards are eaten, their end pieces have gone stale and are haplessly thrown away. This is a travesty considering I, living any number of miles away from said bread, would gladly consume the tender, carb-a-licious loaf ends.
In fact, this habit of nibbling away at bread butts has earned me the nickname of “mouse.” The moniker not only represents my habit of eating away at loaf ends, but also the odd manner in which I ration them.
Here’s my logic. There are only two bread butts per loaf, so the ratio of bread butts to bread slices is highly lopsided. Therefore, in order to extend the deliciousness of bread butts over the course of a loaf’s “lifespan,” the bread butts must be rationed. I do this by gradually tearing off pieces, hence the name “mouse.”
Perhaps it’s a quirk. Perhaps I’m a weirdo, or simply a carb-obsessed runner. But I figure I’m doing everyone a favor when bread butts would otherwise go to waste. Just as Native Americans used all parts of the buffalo, I use all parts of the bread.
Amazingly, though, I didn’t scavenge a single crumb of this particular bread butt.
As soon as my family smelled the cinnamon roll pull-apart loaf being removed from the oven, the bread – butts and all – didn’t stand a chance.
You don’t even have to be weird like me to enjoy these bread butts.
Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Loaf
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 packet (0.25 ounces) instant yeast
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. In a smaller, separate bowl, stir together brown sugar and cinnamon for filling. Set both aside.
- Over medium low stovetop heat, scald milk in small saucepan. Remove from heat and add 3 Tablespoons butter; stir until melted. Add water and let cool until lukewarm (110-115 degrees F).
- Using an electric mixer with dough hooks, gradually add flour mixture to milk mixture. Add lightly beaten egg. Add flour until a moist dough forms.
- Turn dough out onto lightly-floured surface. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic (several minutes). Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan.
- Roll dough into a 20″x12″ rectangle. Spread softened butter evenly over dough. Cut dough crosswise into five strips with a pizza cutter, each 12″x4″ in size.
- Generously sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over first buttered rectangle and top with second rectangle. Generously sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over second rectangle, top with third rectangle, and again sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon-sugar. Repeat with all five rectangles.
- Slice stack of rectangles crosswise through all layers. You will now have 6 rectangular stacks, each 4″x2″.
- Set loaf pan on one of its smaller, 5-inch sides. Stack dough rectangles into pan, cut side up. When finished stacking strips, lift pan and carefully shift empty side of pan downward, allowing strips to slide that way and fill entire pan. Adjust strips so they stand up fairly straight.
- Loosely cover pan and let rise in a warm place (like a microwave) about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake loaf 30-35 minutes, or until lightly browned. Once cooled, glaze with favorite cinnamon roll icing if desired.
*Note: Once cooled, cover loaf pan with saran wrap to keep bread soft and prevent it from going stale.