Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sugar and Spice Pull Apart Bread


I love, love, love this months' Sourdough Surprise, and it's totally in the why-have-I-never-done-this-before category!  It's so easy, the dough is a dream to work with, it's crying out loud delicious and the possibilities for fillings are infinite (even though I went with the safe, tried and true, sugar and spice flava).  Plus, how could you not love a food that encourages you to eat with your fingers.  But seriously, pull apart bread, where have you been all my life?

Of course I don't live under a rock, I was familiar with the concept.  I even received a monkey bread pan for Christmas a long time ago.  And I might have made the recipe that came with it. Either it wasn't very good or my baking skills weren't up to snuff, but I never made it again.  And where that pan is now is anyone's guess.  Since then, thanks to the interwebs and sites like Pintrest, pull apart bread has exploded and recipes for sweet and savory fillings abound.  

I've made this version, adapted from the lovely Pastry Studio blog, twice already and both times my husband and I had a tug of war with the loaves.  Slathered with more butter and sprinkled with more spice mix it literately got me through a snow storm of winter despair.  It's casual and comforting, like having coffee with your best friend.  Yes, I know I just alluded to bread being my best friend.  That really shouldn't come as any surprise, I just hope no one ever tries to pull us apart.   

sugar and spice pull apart bread (adapted from this)

2 tablespoons warm water
1 package yeast (2 & 1/4 teaspoons)
pinch sugar
1/4 cup warm milk
2 ounces melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups bread flour (give or take, plus more for rolling)
1 cup sourdough starter (discard is fine)

filling

2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cocoa
3/4 cup sugar
2 ounces melted butter 
confectioners' sugar glaze (optional)

In a small bowl whisk yeast and sugar into warm water; let sit to proof.  In a stand mixer with a dough hook mix together flour sugar and salt. Add butter, milk, eggs, vanilla, yeast mixture and sourdough starter; mix until dough forms scraping down the bowl as necessary.  Add more flour if mixture seems too wet.  Beat dough on medium speed until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Scrap dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.  Transfer dough to a large buttered bowl, cover and refrigerate over night or let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1-1 & 1/2 hours. 

For the filling, whisk together cinnamon cardamom, ginger, cocoa and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Butter a 4" X 8" loaf pan and line with strip of parchment paper long enough to hang over the long sides. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface, knead to a uniform shape and roll dough into an even rectangle approximately 10" X 20".  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush melted butter over dough and sprinkle with sugar and spice mix.  Cut dough into 4 equal strips on the long side and carefully put one strip on top of the other.  Once all strips are lined up, cut into 4 portions.  Place dough in a row in prepared pan, cut side up and sprinkle with any remaining spice mix.  Bake bread for 35-40 minutes or until deep golden brown.  Cool on wire rack.  Remove from pan and cool completely before glazing, if desired.








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22 comments:

  1. That looks soooooo good! And your dough looks amazing!

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    1. Thanks, it's a great dough, super easy to roll.

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  2. I love how it looks like it's exploded out of the loaf tin!

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    1. Yes, I was really happy with the lift it got in the oven!

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  3. Oooh, your filling spice mix sounds delicious. As a confirmed breadaholic, I'm totally in love with this pull apart loaf.

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    1. Thanks Dee, give us this day our daily pull apart bread!

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  4. Amazing oven spring! Spices are always a win for me.

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    1. Thanks Kelster, I was very pleased with the results!

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  5. YUM! Your pull apart bread looks awesome!

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    1. Thanks G! Love being a part of Sourdough Surprises! Promise to stop with the puns soon!

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  6. Bread is pretty much my best friend too. This looks awesome, like a loaf of cinnamon toast. Yum!

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  7. Your bread looks so delicious~ I have never made monkey/pull apart bread in a loaf pan before, but I think it's high time I give it a try:) Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

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    1. Thanks Lynn, it's so easy and I love the results. Of course, if I can ever find it, I would like to see how it works out in a monkey bread pan.

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  8. Sugar and spice and everything nice; that's what your bread is made of. It looks so good I almost wish I had gone sweet instead of savory for my version.

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    1. Thanks Cathy, what's nice about these recipes are they're so adaptable they work for sweet and savory!

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  9. Lovely photography-- so impressive. Congratulations on your gorgeous finished product.

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  10. Such a gorgeous loaf! You had me at sugar and spice :)

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  11. Thanks, can,t go wrong with that classic duo!

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  12. I love your spice mix, I love your glaze, I love the look of your bread, I love everything about this. These fun treats are th eonly way to get through this crazy winter! Great job.

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  13. Thanks Shelley! I agree, they are a blessing to make and eat and share! Three cheers for Sourdough Surprises!!!

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