Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar [Apple Cider] Pull-Apart Loaf

Who has seen these photos of pull-apart breads and not suddenly found themselves drooling on their keyboard? Seriously, no matter the flavor, sweet or savory, these loaves look insanely good.

Actually, I'd like to have a pull-apart loaf party just so that I can sample all the imaginable variations out there...Hey, why not? Especially when its officially my half marathon week! Me and carbs are best friends <3

Yes, I know carb-loading a myth. Eating an insane amount of carbs the day before a race isn't going to do much, if anything. Technically, I think you are supposed to increase your carbs by a small percentage in the week leading up to the race? Nevertheless, I embrace carb-loading--to an extent--because I (of course) love food.

I bought a jug of apple cider the other week; and soon discovered that as much as I love cider, I have a difficult time remembering to drink it. So, I decided to try to bake with it.

First up: this cinnamon pull-apart loaf. It was pretty easy for a yeast recipe: the dough came together quickly, and was really easy to work with after its rising. The end result was something that I'd hoped for...a lovely cinnamon roll impostor.

And, of course, I topped the loaf with a light cinnamon cider glaze. Because no cinnamon roll impostor is complete without some liquid sugar poured on top.

My beautiful mess.

Isn't it the most beautiful ugly loaf you've ever seen?

I ate it until my tummy ached. Then I decided to put on my "baked good fairy" hat and take the rest to work...

Cinnamon [Apple Cider] Pull-Apart Loaf
Slightly Adapted from Annie's Eats, Originally found at Hungry Girl Por Vida

Servings: 1 loaf

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup almond (or other) milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup apple cider
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • In a bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Over medium heat, let the butter and milk melt together. Remove from heat, and let this milk mixture rest until it reaches between 115-125 degrees. 
  • Pour the milk mixture, eggs, cider, and vanilla into the flour mixture. Mix until a dough comes together. Its likely that more flour will be needed; gradually add in 1 tablespoon at a time until a tacky, but not sticky, dough forms. Knead for 3-5 minutes. 
  • Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for about 1 hour or until the dough doubles. While it rises, mix together the sugar and spices for the filling. Once doubled, punch down dough and place on a lightly floured workspace. Roll dough into a rectangle or square and spread butter and sugar mixture over the dough. 
  • Slice dough into 3 equal rows; stack rows and slice into 3-4 squares. (The beauty of this loaf is that it doesn't need to be perfect!). Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray and set squares into it--there will be lots of spare room. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaf for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let the loaf rest in the pan for about 20 minutes before attempting to remove it. Serve warm, with or without glaze.
Simple Apple Cider Glaze
1/4 cup cider
1 teaspoon melted butter
Cinnamon to taste
Enough powdered sugar to reach designed consistency

  • Combine all ingredients into a small bowl. Drizzle over loaf, once its been removed from the pan.

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