*Just a quick update (Wednesday): I have a guest post up over at TOFW (Time Out For Women) which recaps our awesome hotel living experience and as a bonus you’ll get one of the best slow cooker cherry cobbler recipes of all time. Enjoy!*
Move over, cinnamon rolls, cause you’ve got some new competition in town and it just happens to be this pumpkin pull-apart bread. The pull-apart bread phenomenon has been circulating the food blog world for months, if not years, now, and when I finally got caught up with the trend, I had a flashback when I used to visit my old roommate, Kate, in Mesa, Arizona, and her mom would make us cinnamon bread assembled this way. Of course that was over 12 years ago and we girls just sat there idly while Kate’s mom did all the work, but still, I’m thinking this method for pull-apart bread has been around a while. Shame on me for forgetting about it until now!
It really is a clever way to get a cinnamon-roll-like taste and texture in bread form that pulls apart in fluffy, tender layers of cinnamon/sugar bliss. If you aren’t familiar with the method, I included a few step-by-step pictures below the recipe. The yeasted pumpkin dough is smothered with a sweet cinnamon spiced filling and then cut into strips, then stacked, then cut again to be pressed together in a bread pan. It works, I promise.
Perfect for this time of year, this bread is absolutely irresistible, especially when we discovered it heated up beautifully and tasted fresh as the day it was made. I’m so glad this bread (pumpkin or not!) is back in my life again. It’s about time!
Note: As with all yeast doughs, because humidity, temperature, altitude and a multitude of other factors can impact how much flour you need in your yeast doughs, I always use the flour amount in a recipe as a guideline only and judge when to quit adding flour by the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour I’ve added compared to the recipe. This tutorial on yeast may help identify how a perfectly floured dough should be.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 5-6 cups all-purpose flour (I've added half ground white wheat flour before with great results, too)
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/8 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or just a large bowl if you are going to power through and make this by hand, which I've done, and it really isn't so bad), combine the salt, yeast, sugar and 4 cups of the flour. In a small saucepan, warm the milk and butter until the butter is just melted and the mixture is warm to the touch. If it feels too hot, let it cool until it is at warm room temperature. With the mixer running (again, just adapt by hand by pouring it into the dry ingredients), add the warm milk/butter mixture and the pureed pumpkin. Continue mixing, adding additional flour as necessary, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, and knead the dough (by mixer or by hand) until it is smooth, elastic and just slightly sticky (don't overflour - see the note above the recipe).
- Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled, about an hour, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
- While the dough is rising, make the filling by combining the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside.
- When the dough has doubled in size, lightly punch down and divide into two pieces. Roll out one of the pieces on a lightly floured countertop to about 20-inches by 12-inches. If it has trouble rolling out without shrinking back in, lightly cover the dough and let it rest 10-15 minutes before proceeding. Once rolled out, brush the dough with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and spread half of the filling mixture evenly over the top, lightly pressing it into the buttered dough.
- Lightly coat two 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch bread pans with cooking spray. With the long edge of the rectangle toward you, cut the dough into 6 strips (see pictures below for a visual). Stack the strips on top of each other and cut the stack into 6 even portions (again, pictures are below). Grab the cut stacks, one at a time, placing them in the bread pan and pressing them up against each other so they all fit into the pan. Repeat with the remaining half of dough and filling ingredients.
- Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap and let the bread double in size until it looks really puffy, about an hour.
- Bake the dough in a 350 degree F oven for 30-40 minutes, until the bread is browned and bubbly and cooked through. Remove the pans from the oven. While the bread cools slightly in the pans, make the glaze by bringing the butter, brown sugar and milk to a boil. Remove it from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla until it is smooth.
- After the bread has cooled for about 5 minutes in the pan, loosen the edges with a butter knife and turn the bread out onto a cooling rack set over a piece of parchment or wax paper. Drizzle the warm bread with the glaze. Pull off pieces of the glazed bread and eat warm (the bread reheats well, microwaving several pieces on low power for 15-20 seconds).