Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Spiced Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread

Spiced Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread



2 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Brown sugar
2 1/2 Teaspoons yeast
3/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1 Teaspoon salt
2 1/2 Cup Flour
Vegetable oil
Cooking spray


1 Cup Brown sugar
2 Teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoons nutmeg
2 Tablespoons Butter

Spice Glaze

3 Tablespoons Cream Cheese
2 Tablespoons Icing sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Clove
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
3/4 Teaspoons Cinnamon


In a small pot melt and brown the butter over medium heat. Keep a careful eye on the butter as it does not take very long for the butter to melt, then to brown and then to burn. No one has time for burned butter!

Once the butter has browned add the milk and the 1/4 cup of brown sugar and scald the milk. Scalding means we bring it to just before boiling temperature. It should be steamy and hot to the touch but not bubbling. Once the milk, sugar and butter have been scalded, set aside for 10 minutes to cool to workable temperatures.

While the scaled milk mixture cools, sift together the flour and the salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

When the scaled milk has cooled and is at a just warm temperature, sprinkle the yeast over the top and stir once. Cover with a clean towel and set to rise for 10-15 minutes. If after 10 minutes we don't have some frothy beautifully proofed yeast then start again. Your yeast is dead and no good can come from dead yeast.

Once your yeast has proofed stir in the pumpkin puree and stir gently. Add the flour and salt mixture a little bit at a time and stir to incorporate. Once a workable dough has formed, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for at least 8 minutes until a smooth elastic dough has formed. Grease the dough ball on the outside with some vegetable oil (It's like bio-oil for a pregnant lady, grease that ball/belly up so it can grow!). Set the greased dough ball in a bowl and cover with a clean towel and set to rise for about an hour until double in size

While the dough is doing it's thing, prepare the filling. In a small pot melt an brown 2 Tablespoons of butter, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir well to evenly combine. Set aside.

Once the dough has risen, make a fist and punch it down in the center and turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out to about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Spread the brown butter-sugar filling evenly over the entire surface of the dough.

Next life gets a bit complicated, so stick with me!

First Cut the dough into strips lengthwise that are about 2 inches wide.

Next cut the long strips, unevenly, into smaller little rectangles. We want some to be longer than others and some to be pretty short. Trust me it looks super cool at the end.

Poorly illustrated but you get the idea, this part is just to make the "building blocks" for our pretty loaf. We don't want them to be the same size so we get a nice textured loaf at the end, and it will pull apart easier.

Spray a wide loaf pan with cooking oil and begin to assemble the loaf. Carefully pick up 4 or 5 of the cut rectangles keeping the sugar on top and plain dough on the bottom, layer the cut rectangles on top of each other and carefully place this "block" of dough in the back of the pan. Repeat process with all the dough rectangles and fill the loaf pan. I found I really had to wedge my last block into the pan to get it to fit.

So below is a rough sketch of what is happening, layer the cut rectangles as "building blocks" by keeping the plain dough side to the bottom and the brown sugar on top, and then placing the "building block" into the loaf pan, once again keeping the plain dough end towards the back of the loaf pan and keeping the brown sugar in the middles.  The loaf diagram is to illustrate that we want pieces going in all directions and being even with it isn't the goal.

Once your loaf is assembled, cover with a clean tea towel and let it rise again for about 15-20 minutes.

In the mean time preheat the oven to 375°F and prepare the spice glaze.

Remove the cream cheese from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Beat the cream cheese with the icing sugar, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside.

Once the loaf as risen again, Bake it for between 35-45 minutes. Once baked let the loaf sit in the pan like a happy camper for about 10 minutes before moving the loaf to a cooling rack.

Let the loaf cool before glazing.

To glaze the loaf, fill either a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the glaze and drizzle in a zig-zag pattern over the top of the loaf. 

The loaf is now ready to eat! Grab a piece and pull it apart and enjoy!



This is under fruits, because pumpkin is a fruit according to traditional botany. Fruits are the part of a plant which develop from a flower and have the seeds inside of them. So things like avocado, pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, are all fruits. Things like the leaves, stem or root are vegetables which include celery, the stalk of the plant, parsnip a root, cabbage, the leaves, broccoli and cauliflower are also vegetables as they are considered a bud. So now we understand some basic botany and can tell all our friends the difference between a fruit and vegetable! Yay for knowledge because knowledge is power!

Also, yeast is a living organism, a small one and a useful one. But like all living things it has things it enjoys and things it doesn't and things that kill it. Yeasts obviously like sugars as that is what they use for energy to grow, yeast does not like salt as it burns it's cellular membrane and can kill it. Yeast also enjoys a warm water bath, but if the water is too hot yeast will die.  Liquids are at just the right temperature to make yeast happy when you can carefully place a washed finger in the liquid and the liquid doesn't feel wet or really much like anything. Meaning it is pretty much at the same temperature as your body. That is perfect!

Also I like to warm my oven by turning it on to 200C for 10 minutes when I start to bake, turning it off, and then using that just warmed space to set my dough to rise. Side bonus the oven is draft free!

So lets move on to some more knowledge, knowledge of how to make some amazing pull apart yummy bread!

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