This soft and fluffy pull apart bread is sweetened with cinnamon sugar and mini chocolate chips. As much fun to make as it is to eat, this scrumptious bread is perfect for breakfast, brunch and dessert!
1 packet active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
3½ – 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus some for rolling out dough
3 tablespoons, granulated sugar (plus 1/2 tsp to add to yeast)
3 large eggs, room temperature
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup buttermilk
5 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 cups mini chocolate chips
Pour yeast over warmed water (between 95 and 100 degrees). Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and give it a quick stir. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes in a warm and dry place. It should bubble and increase in size.
Add the 3 ½ cups of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, salt and buttermilk to the bowl of a standing mixer with the dough hook. Add the yeast mixture. Mix the ingredients for about 5 minutes on medium low. Once the ingredients are combined, add the last ½ cup of flour. Quickly incorporate the last ½ cup of flour into the dough.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Scrape down the sides with a sturdy wooden spoon (the dough will be very sticky). Cover with a towel and let rise for 45-60 minutes in a warm, dry place.
While the dough is rising, mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and melt the butter, setting it aside to cool slightly.
Once the dough has doubled in size, pre-heat the oven to 350˚ F.
After the 45-60 minutes, and the dough has doubled, punch it down. Flour a clean counter and scrape out the dough from the bowl onto the counter. Knead the dough a few times and form into a ball. Cut the ball of dough in half. Place one half of the dough aside and cover with plastic wrap (for the second pull-apart loaf). The dough is sticky, so make sure to flour your hands and your rolling pin. Use a floured rolling pin to roll out the dough into a 12-inch by 20-inch rectangle. The horizonal side of the dough should be 18 inches, while the vertical side is 12 inches.
Once the rectangle is formed, use a pastry brush to spread the butter across the entire surface. Then sprinkle one-half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Sprinkle half of the mini chocolate chips across the top of the dough and use your hands to gently press them down. Some of the chocolate chips will fall out of the dough as you stack the slices, but you can just tuck them back in one the dough is in the loaf pan.
Using a sharp knife, cut the 20-inch rectangle in 6 equal strips lengthwise. Then make 6 cuts in the opposite direction so you are left with 36 squares. Use a metal spatula to stack each the squares from each row on top of each other until you have 6 stacks of 6 squares. Stand the stacks of dough in the loaf pan and tuck in the stray chocolate chips between the layers. Do not let this dough sit out for more than 20 minutes because it will start to rise above the edge of the loaf pan.
If you are going to bake the rolls the next morning, place plastic wrap on top of the loaf pan and then cover with a tea towel, and place in the fridge. Take them out the next morning and allow them to come to room temperature (about 30 minutes) before baking.
Bake each loaf for 45-50 minutes. If the top begins to brown too much, place a foil tent over the top of the loaf pan.
Repeat the steps for the second loaf. Do not bake the two loaves together.
Bread is best when served the day it is made.
Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To warm, before serving, heat slices in the microwave for 15 seconds.