Friday, October 19, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Pull Apart Bread with Butter Rum Glaze

OK.  After a brief trip back to summer yesterday, I'm ready to get back to fall.  Perhaps it is the consistent 25 mile-per-hour wind swirling around golden and maroon leaves that has snapped me back into the autumn state of mind.  That reminds me of one of the downfalls of this time of year--raking leaves.  Ugh!  

So to cheer myself up, I have been trying to focus on one of the many things I love about October--pumpkins.  They are all over front porches and kitchens everywhere.  I have been reviewing some older pictures of recipes I have made but haven't shared yet, and I came across this pumpkin spice pull apart bread.  I think it is past time to share this with the world!

This was my first pull apart bread, and I loved it!  There is just something more fun about eating bread when you can pull it apart.  This is an invitation to play with your food, without getting into trouble!  If this is your first encounter with pull apart bread and you're not sure how to classify this recipe, it's basically a sweet bread, similar to a cinnamon roll.  But instead of making individual rolls, it is baked all together like a loaf.

Another thing this pumpkin spice pull apart bread has in common with a cinnamon roll is its awesomeness!  It is sweet, gooey, and cinnamon-y.  But it has the wonderful bonus of packing in some pumpkin!  I love that sweet breads like this give me the perfect excuse to indulge in sugar for breakfast.  But it is versatile enough to also serve as a dessert.  In case you didn't notice, this is topped with a tempting butter rum glaze.  Pumpkin, cinnamon, butter, sugar, and rum?  Don't mind if I do!

I made this tasty treat back when I wasn't working full-time.  I had a lot more free time then!  This is a yeast bread, so it isn't something you can just whip up in 30 minutes after work.  But if you have some spare time on a Saturday afternoon, this bread is well worth the time.  Don't be scared off by the time.  It really isn't that difficult, and the result is a show-stopper that is perfect for company this holiday season!  You can even go rake leaves while you are letting the dough rise!

Pumpkin Spice Pull Apart Bread with Butter Rum Glaze
For the dough:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 envelope)
3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 tsp salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2-2 cups all-purpose flour
For the filling:
1 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
For the Glaze:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter or margarine
1 Tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp skim milk
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp rum extract
To make the pull-apart bread:
Ina  large saucepan over medium-high heat, brown the 2 tablespoons of butter.  Let it bubble and foam and when you see it start to brown, stir it so that it browns evenly.  When it's the color of dark honey, remove it from the heat and pour it into a large heat-safe mixer bowl to cool.
In the same saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the milk until it bubbles.  Remove it from the heat and pour it into the bowl with the butter.  Let these cool until they're 100-110 degrees.
Stir the sugar and yeast into the warm milk/butter mixture and let it sit for a few minutes.  Then stir in pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup whole wheat flour.  Attach dough hook to stand mixer.  Start to mix and add the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between each addition until dough comes together.  Add enough flour that dough is not too sticky.  When the dough is combined, knead on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic.  If you don't have a mixer, knead by hand.
Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth.  Let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, until it doubles in size.  After it rises, you can put it in the fridge overnight to use in the morning.  If you do so, let it sit out for half and hour before rolling out.
To make the filling:
While dough is rising, whisk the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small bowl.  Toward the end of dough rising time, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in saucepan over medium-high heat and brown as directed above.  Put in a small heat-safe bowl to cool for later use.
Shape and bake pull-apart bread:
When dough is done rising, knead about 1 tablespoon of flour into the dough to deflate it.  Let dough sit for 5 minutes.  Flour a large work surface and turn your rested dough out onto it.  Roll it out to a 20-inch long and 12-inch wide rectangle, lifting corners periodically to make sure it's not sticking.
Spread the browned butter over the surface of the dough with a pastry brush and sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top, patting it down to ensure it mostly sticks.
With the long edge of the rectangle toward you, cut it into 6 equal strips.  Stack these strips on top of one another and cut the resulting stacks into 6 even portions.  Place these portions one at a time into a greased loaf pan, pressing them up against each other to fit them all in.  Cover the pan with a damp cloth and place it in a warm place for 30-45 minutes to double in size.
While the dough rises, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  When the dough is done rising, place the loaf in the center of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until dark golden brown on top.  Cool for 20-30 minutes on a cooking rack in the loaf pan while you make the glaze.
To make the glaze:
In your saucepan, bring the butter, milk, and brown sugar to a boil over medium-high heat.  Remove it from the heat.  Add the powdered sugar and rum extract.  Whisk it to a smooth consistency.
To assemble and serve:
Use a butter knife to loosen all sides of the bread from the loaf pan and gently turn it out onto a plate.  Place another plate on top and slip it to turn it right ride up.  Drizzle glaze on top.  Best served slightly warm.

Recipe adapted from Willow Bird Baking

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