Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread

I love pumpkin year round and am often disappointed when it is no longer on the shelves in the stores. I have been known to stock the pantry with several cans of pumpkin puree so that I will have available until at least spring. Adding pumpkin to a cinnamon pull apart bread just seems natural and something that HAD to be done.

My family came for dinner along with a few other people and I decided this would be perfect to have for dessert. Before dinner was served my family dug right in and were thrilled, well everyone but the few crazy people who don't like pumpkin. They were limited to the other option, chocolate chip cookies.

Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread
Adapted from:  Willow Bird Baking

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup half and half
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste / 1/2 vanilla bean split and scraped / 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2-1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

1 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Vanilla Bean Glaze:
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1-2 Tablespoons half and half
1/2 cup powdered sugar, shifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the dough:
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until it becomes light brown and smells nutty. Pour butter into the mixing bowl. Pour half and half into sauce pan and heat until warm, this will only take two or three minutes.  Pour half and half into mixing bowl.  Add the pumpkin, sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla paste to the butter and half and half, stir to combine.  Add the all purpose and white whole wheat flours as well as the yeast to the mixture in the mixing bowl.  Mix using a dough hook until you have a soft, but tacky, dough adding more all purpose flour as needed.  Dough should pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl but feel sticky when you touch it with your finger.  Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap, place bowl in a warm place and allow dough to rise until double.

While dough is rising mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl and set aside.

When dough has doubled spray your counter with oil and spread it around so there is a light coating on the counter.  By using oil on the counter you avoid adding any further flour when you are rolling it up.  This helps keep the dough nice and soft, more flour makes for a denser stiffer bread.  Gently deflate the dough in the bowl and pour it onto the counter, gently shape it into a small rectangle, cover it with the plastic wrap and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes.  This allows the gluten to rest and makes it easier to roll the dough out without it bouncing back to a smaller size.  Uncover the dough and roll it out using a rolling pin, lightly covered with oil, into a rectangle measuring 20 inches by 12 inches.  Spray a medium loaf pan with non-stick oil spray.

Melt the butter in a mug or small microwave safe bowl in the microwave.  Pour the melted butter onto the rolled out dough and brush out the butter until all the dough is coated with butter (all the way to the edges of the dough).  Spread the sugar/cinnamon mixture over the melted butter and gently press it onto to dough to help it stick.

 Starting on the long side, cut the dough into two even halves (you will have two 10 inch by 12 inch squares)  then cut each half into three even strips.  You will have 6 strips of dough about the same size.

Carefully stack all the strips of dough on top of each other.

Cut the stack of dough strips into six even pieces.

 Pick up each stack (all six layers at once) and stand them in the loaf pan, placing each stack in front of the other, pressing the stacks together a little to make room if needed.

Cover the loaf pan with a clean damp kitchen towel and place in a warm place to rise until double in size.  Preheat the over to 350 degrees.

When dough has doubled in size, place it in the center of your preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minuted until the top is dark golden brown.  You may want to put a layer of foil on a rack just below your loaf as it bakes in case the buttery/sugary yumminess bubbles up and over the rim of the pan (mine did). Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.  Allow to cool for 20 - 30 minutes.

While bread is cooling melt the butter for the glaze. Combine the melted butter, half and half and powdered sugar, stir until smooth. Add vanilla paste and vanilla extract, stir until combined.

When loaf is still warm but just cool enough to touch, run a butter knife around the edges to loosen the loaf from the pan and turn the loaf over onto a plate to remove from the pan.

Turn loaf right side up on serving dish. Drizzle glaze over the loaf while still slightly warm. Serve.

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