Weather: 52, blue skies and sunshine. New spots of yellow in the trees.
What I’m listening to: my 4-year-old daughter “playing” the piano
I am once again attempting to ease us from summer into fall with apples – the food language of back-to-school and orchards-a-plenty. This time it’s caramel apples. And cinnamon. And brown sugar. And yeasty, warm bread.
I’ve had this type of pull-apart bread in my mental catalog of recipes I planned to try for quite a while. When I first saw the classic cinnamon sugar version circulating its way around the blogosphere (probably on Pinterest, I can’t quite remember now), I was easily drawn in by this new twist on monkey bread – pull-apart slices. Brilliant. It looks like you put tons of work into every blessed cinnamon-sugary slice, but it’s not half as complicated as it may seem.
I started with the basic recipe – a rectangle of risen, rolled out dough topped with butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Then I strayed and added diced Golden Delicious apples. Oh yes. Use a pizza cutter and slice it into long strips.
Stack the strips on top of each other. Nothing about this needs to be neat or perfect. Cut the stack into 4-5 inch long portions (about the height of a standard loaf pan).
Stand the stacks up in the loaf pan. Cover and let rise again. Bake.
It comes out of the oven looking like this golden brown cinnamon-dusted wonder. Let it cool for a bit, then remove it from the pan and pour a warm caramel glaze over the whole loaf. Mercy.
Eat. Enjoy every beautiful bite of caramel apple yumminess.
More recipes like this:
–Lemon-Scented Pull-Apart Coffee Cake from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
–Peach, Cinnamon, & Brown Butter Pull Apart Bread from Craving Chronicles
–Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread from Joy the Baker
Caramel Apple Pull-Apart Bread
Bread recipe adapted from [The Craving Chronicles|http://cravingchronicles.com/2012/08/09/peach-cinnamon-brown-butter-pull-apart-bread/]; Glaze recipe from [Food.com|http://www.food.com/recipe/dianes-fresh-apple-cake-with-caramel-glaze-185528]
Yields: 1 loaf
- For the Dough:
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2-1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (plus 1/4 cup or more, if needed)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- For the filling:
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and diced (Golden Delicious or Granny Smith recommended)
- For the Caramel Glaze:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
To the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine warm water and yeast.
In a microwave-safe dish, heat milk and butter together until butter is just melted, but not too hot. Add vanilla.
Add flour, sugar, and salt on top of water/yeast mixture in mixing bowl. Turn mixer on low, add eggs, and stream in milk/butter/ mixture gradually until a soft dough forms. Add flour by the tablespoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. Turn mixer up to medium speed and knead 3 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt for the filling. Set aside. Prepare your apples and melt butter just before the dough is done rising. Grease a standard 9x5 loaf pan.
Turn risen dough out onto a floured work surface and roll out into a large rectangle (roughly 12x24 inches, but it doesn't need to be perfect). Dough will be rather thin.
Brush dough with melted butter. Sprinkle the entire surface with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Using a pizza wheel, cut dough into equal-sized, long strips. Sprinkle the first strip with 1/6th of the diced apples. Lay the next strip on top of the first strip. Sprinkle with apples and cover with another strip. Repeat until all the strips are stacked on top of each other.
Cut the stacked strips into 4-6 equal stacks of squares (about 4-5 inches in size). Stack the squares vertically into prepared loaf pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350. Bake the bread on the middle rack of oven 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through (check center for doughiness). If the bread gets too brown on top before it is done cooking in the center, cover loosely with foil for the remainder of cooking time.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by adding the butter, brown sugar and milk to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.
Turn loaf out onto a rack with parchment paper underneath it. Drizzle the loaf with the warm caramel glaze.
Best enjoyed the same day it is baked.