Martha made this recipe on episode 610 of Martha Bakes.
- Yield: Makes 12
Photography: Mike Krautter
Source: Martha Bakes
- 1 3/4 cups room-temperature water
- 1 tablespoon firmly packed fresh yeast
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
- 1 pound (4 sticks) cool, room-temperature unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons melted, plus more for muffin tin
- About 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
In a small bowl, combine water and yeast. Stir until yeast dissolves.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour, salt, and 2 tablespoons melted butter on low speed. Add yeast mixture, and mix until well combined, about 2 minutes.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch dough down, shape into a rectangle, cover in plastic wrap, and place on a baking sheet. Chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, on a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper, roll the remaining pound of butter into an 8-inch square, between 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick. Wrap in parchment paper, and let rest at cool room temperature, about 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll chilled dough into a 12-inch square. Center butter square over the dough so that each side of the butter faces a corner of the dough. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter to enclose. Seal the edges by pinching together. Turn over dough, seam-side down. Roll into a 24-by-8-inch rectangle. Fold dough into thirds, aligning edges carefully and brushing off excess flour. (The object is to ensure that the butter is distributed evenly throughout so that the pastry will puff evenly when baked.) This completes one turn.
Repeat the process of rolling and folding once. Chill for 20 minutes, just until cold but not firm. Then repeat process twice, dusting work surface and dough generously with sugar, about 2 cups sugar total for the 2 turns. You will now have completed 4 turns. Refrigerate dough 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, brush 2 jumbo muffin tins with melted butter; transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon.
Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half. On a work surface lightly sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar mixture, roll out half of the dough into a 13-by-7-inch rectangle, 1/2-inch-thick. Cut crosswise into 18 even strips. Form 3 strips into a braid, pinching ends to secure. Bring the pinched ends together to form a circle, and pinch to secure. Place braid, pinched-side down, in prepared muffin tin. Repeat with remaining strips of dough, then repeat entire process with the remaining reserved half of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until puffed, 30 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest for about 3 minutes before carefully turning out onto a wire rack to cool upside down. Once completely cooled, invert and serve.