Friday, October 28, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Pecan Pull Apart Bread

2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/3 cup of warm water
2 tbl olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
3 1/2 c flour

Carmelized Apples
2 - 2 1/2 c apples (peeled, cored & diced: I liked larger chunks)
1/4 c butter
7 tbl dark brown sugar (doesn't have to be dark)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c pecans (or nuts of your choice) (optional)
sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)

Glaze (optional)*
1 c powdered sugar
a tiny bit of milk

Pam Olive Oil Spray

In a large bowl, stir together yeast & water. Let sit for 5 minutes. While waiting, lightly oil/spray a medium bowl & set aside. Mix in the olive oil, salt, sugar, & flour. If you have a stand mixer, knead with the dough hook for 5-6 minutes or until elastic. If by hand, knead dough on a slightly floured surface unril dough is elastic, 7-10 minutes. Dough will be sticky but keep flouring the table as you knead. Place in oiled bowl & cover with oiled plastic wrap so that when the dough rises it will not stick to plastic. Allow to rise until it is doubled in size. I set mine in the sun & it was quick! 1 to 2 hours depending on the temperature.

In the mean time, prepare the apples. Place diced apples in a medium sauce pan with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, & nutmeg. You can add the nuts at this point or layer them in when you layer with the apples & dough balls. Cook apples on medium heat until apples are cooked down & a sauce is formed. Remove sauce pan from heat & let cool until dough is ready.

Punch down the dough (I wasn't quite sure what it meant, so I gave it one good punch & the dough went flat). Grease/spray bundt pan. In the bottom of the pan, add a layer of nuts & apples with 1/4 of the sauce (you need to save half the sauce for dipping dough balls in & 1/4 for another layer). Tear off a small piece of dough about half the size of your thumb. Roll a quick ball, coat it in the sauce, place in the bottom of the bundt pan. Repeat until you have one layer of dough balls. Add a layer of apples, some sauce, & nuts. Continue with layering the dough balls. If you have sauce & apples remaining, just add to the top of the last layer.
Cover with plastic wrap & let rise until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 300•
Now when I made it the first time, it said to cook @ 350 for 25-30 minuts or golden brown. I cooked it for 25 minutes & it was no where near getting brown. When I pulled it out of the oven, the outside was really hard! (That's why it worked so well with my soup)

Maybe it was my oven, not sure. I couldnt tell you how long I cooked it the second time, because I didn't time it. So, I checked it after about 10-15 minutes, if I could feel the top crust was becoming hard, when I pushed on it, it sprang back, it didn't stay pushed in, I knew it was done.
Mix the glaze while the bread is cooking in the oven. Add powdered sugar to a small bowl. Add a tinny smidget of milk. Mix. If it is really thick & not like slow moving molasses, it could use a smidget more milk. If it is too watery, add more powder sugar. Glaze should be somewhat runny, to slooowly run down the side of the warm bread but not too runny it doesn't stay on the bread.
Flip cooked bread in bundt pan onto a tray or plate & remove pan. Drizzle with glaze. Pull. Eat.

*3/26/2013: the last two times I have made this, I didnt use the glaze. Instead I made a cream cheese mix that was even better. I used one block of cream cheese, one cup of powdered sugar and about ½ c. milk. I mixed with a hand mixer or the KitchenAid, the cream cheese and the powdered sugar while slowly addung the milk. You only want enough milk to make the mixture slightly runny. Mix until no lumps are left and it is fluffy.

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