This is probably my all time favorite recipe to make. Some people call it elephant ears, but I prefer to not think about eating elephant ears… This recipe will take up a good portion of your time, but I promise it’s worth the effort!
This is amazing with a cup of coffee in the morning, although it’s not the healthiest option for breakfast. Hey, all in moderation right? Right. (your secret is safe with me)
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
For the filling:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted until browned
1. Start by activating the yeast. To do this, heat up 3 tbsp of water and pour packet of yeast into it with a pinch of sugar. Whisk quickly together and then let sit for 5 minutes until frothy.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of flour, the sugar, salt and yeast together. Set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has just melted. Remove from heat and pour water and vanilla extract in and stir. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and set aside.
4. Pour milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with spatula. Next, add the eggs and continue to stir. The mixture will be very soupy. Add the remaining flour and keep stirring, about two minutes. Mixture should now be sticky.
5. In a greased bowl let dough sit for an hour covered by plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.
6. While dough rises, get the filling ready. Mix together sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Melt 2 ounces of butter until browned and set aside. Prepare 13×9 in baking pan and set aside.
7. In the bowl, kneed about 2 tbsp of flour into the dough and let rest for another 5 minutes. ( I know, so much waiting I’m sorry!) Lightly flour your counter top and using a rolling pin roll the dough out. Aim to make your dough about 12in tall and 20in long.
8. Here’s the fun part, cover with the melted butter leaving about 1/2 in on the ends. Next, evenly spread the sugar all over. Seem like a lot of sugar? Yup. Are you complaining? Nope. Go for it.
9. Slice the dough into 6 even strips. Layer the strips on top of each other and again cut into 6 even strips. You will have small stacks now. Get your baking pan ready. Layer the dough squares in the pan like a flip book, squeeze them all in there. Place a kitchen towel over top and let rise for another 30 minutes.
10. Preheat the oven to 350. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is a dark golden brown (don’t want the middle completely raw!)
11. Remove from oven and let sit for 30 minutes before serving. Eat immediately because it’s the best fresh and warm! Enjoy!