Baseball is frustrating me right now. Over the weekend, the Dodgers were swept by the Colorado Rockies. And tonight (Monday night), I just watched the Giants beat the Dodgers. I lose my voice after game. Each pitch is stressful. Each inning leaves me expecting more. Even the dogs get riled up as Alex and I scream (and occasionally cheer) at the TV. The Dodgers only need to win ONE game against the Giants to clinch the NL West. I’m hoping Tuesday is the day.
You know what relaxes me? Bread. Bread eating and bread making. I’ve probably said this a million times before, but bread making is one of the most relaxing activities for me. Almost as relaxing as getting a massage. Almost.
There is something so calming about it. With breads, I know exactly how it will turn out based on the temperature, smell, and feel of the bread. It’s an outcomes I can always count on. (So unlike baseball.)
My favorite kind of baked goods are the ones that are suitable for any time of day. Dessert for breakfast? YES, please!
This apple cinnamon pull apart bread is a like a loaf of cinnamon rolls with tiny bits of apple surprises sprinkled throughout. It’s a soft and fluffy bread that’s meant to be shared and eaten as soon as it’s baked. Think Sunday brunch with friends or day after Thanksgiving morning.
Instead of the usual cream cheese glaze associated with cinnamon rolls, I opted for something unexpected: honey glaze. Honey glaze tastes exactly like it sounds. It works perfectly with the tart Granny Smith apples.
The dough is very soft and easy to work it. It’s similar to the kind of dough you’d use to make a regular cinnamon roll.
Roll dough out to a rectangle 20 x 12 inches.
Spread cooled melted butter all over the dough and then evenly distribute the apple cinnamon sugar mixture.
I chopped up the apples in a fine dice. You can slice them any which way you’d like. Thinly sliced apple work great!
Cut the dough in half lengthwise (the long end) and then cut into 5 sections vertically.
Make two stacks using the 10 pieces of dough. Cut each stack into three parts, as soon above.
(Yes, this gets pretty messy. Don’t worry. You can pour all the escaped apple cinnamon sugar mixture into the bread pan later.)
Place the stacks on their sides in a bread pan. Stagger them to create movement and drama, or simply file them in rows.Cover the bread pan with plastic wrap and allow the bread to rise. Once the bread reaches the top of the pan, it’s time to pop them in the oven.
And then you’ll have this wonderfully aromatic, warm and inviting, oh-so-delicious apple cinnamon pull apart bread. Sure, you could start snacking on this bread as is. But I need more. I need a generous heaping of honey glaze.
Apple Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread
Yield: 9 x 4-inch loaf pan*
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup whole milk, warmed to 110 degrees F
- 2 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
Apple Cinnamon Filling:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, cooled
- 1 large Granny Smith Apple, cored, peel and diced
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp whole milk, or as needed
- Place yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Stir to combine. Let stand for 5-7 minutes until yeast has activated and mixture is foamy.
- Add remaining sugar, egg, melted butter, and salt to yeast mixture. Whisk together. Attach dough hook to stand mixer. Add half of flour and mix on low speed. Scrape bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing. Add in remaining flour and continue to mix on low speed until dough comes together. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough forms into a ball. If dough is too wet, add 1-2 tablespoons of flour.
- Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and cover with kitchen towel. Allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 50-60 minutes.
- Lightly grease bread pan. Place dough a floured working surface. Roll dough to a rectangle 20 x 12-inches. Spread 1/4 cup melted butter over dough.
- Toss together apples, brown sugar and cinnamon. Evenly distribute apple mixture over dough.
- Cut rectangle in half lengthwise (the long way). Cut each half into 5 strips vertically. Make two stakes using the 10 strips of dough. Cut each stack into three parts.
- Place the stacks on their sides in the prepared bread pan. Stagger stacks, or simply file them in rows. Pour any apple cinnamon sugar mixture that may have escaped into the bread pan.
- Cover bread pan with plastic wrap. Allow bread to rise until it reaches the top of the bread pan.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 50-55 minutes until top of the bread is golden brown and internal temperature registers at least 200 degrees F on a kitchen thermometer. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Gently unmold from pan and allow to cool slightly on wire rack.
- To make honey glaze: Beat together butter and honey until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add milk 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired thickness is achieved. Immediately drizzle over apple cinnamon pull apart bread.
* or 9 x 5-inch loaf pan
The Little Epicurean