Friday, October 21, 2011

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Pumpkin Bread

My first new pumpkin recipe of the season!  How did I wait this long?  I don't know.  But since I do love all things pumpkin, I've added a "pumpkin" tab on the right that I'll leave up for the season . . . . 

But wait.  Don't even check the other options yet because this is by far my favorite pumpkin recipe to date (this one being my favorite savory).  I had it on the menu for my husband's birthday week, but it's fairly time consuming and I never got around to it.  I almost just ditched the recipe all together.  But how can you ditch something that sounds so wonderful?  So I went for it.  I made it just because.  No one to share it with or serve it to.  Nothing extra special to celebrate.  Just a yummy treat for my family to enjoy.  And enjoy it, we did.  The whole thing, in fact.  In just two days.  Good thing I'm eating for two!  Let's just say that a pumpkin pie and a cinnamon roll hooked up.  They've got a good thing going on!  

The original recipe can be found here.  I made a few changes:

1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups bread flour

1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla (you could also use 1/4 tsp rum)

Make the pull-apart bread dough

Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside. 
In a 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.  Be careful.  It can burn quickly if you're not watching. 
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. Stir gently, then let these cool until they’re about 100-110 degrees F (warm, but not hot). Set the saucepan aside for another use later; why do more dishes?

Stir the sugar and yeast into the milk/butter mixture and let it sit for a few minutes until things start getting foamy (it took mine about 5 minutes). Stir in pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup flour. If you haven’t already, fit your mixer with a dough hook (or just be prepared to knead with your hands). Add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between each addition. When the dough is combined, knead on low speed with a dough hook until smooth and elastic (about 4 minutes with a mixer - a little longer with hands).  If still sticky, add flour 1 Tbsp at a time.  I had to add about 1/4 cup more.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until it doubles in size.  It took mine two hours to double. (After it rises, you can put it in the fridge overnight to use it in the morning, but let it sit out for half an hour before rolling if you do.)

Make the filling: While the dough is rising, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter for the filling in the saucepan over medium-high heat and brown it as directed above.  Add the sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together and mix well.  Set aside to use later.

Shape and bake pull-apart bread: Once dough has double, punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead a sprinkling of flour (about 1 tablespoon) into the dough. Let it sit to relax for 5 minutes.  Roll it out to a 20 inch long and 12 inch wide rectangle, lifting corners periodically to make sure it’s not sticking. If it seems to be snapping back (which mine did constantly), cover it with your damp towel and let it rest for 5 minutes before continuing (I didn't actually do this, but probably should have because it took me forever to get the dough rolled and worked out).

Spread the browned butter filling mixture over the surface of the dough, patting it down to ensure it mostly sticks. Pile it on!

Cut the into 6 strips - the long way.  You want long, thin strips - not short, fat strips (do this by cutting the rectangle in half, then cutting each half into equal thirds. I used a pizza cutter). Stack the strips on top of one another and cut the resulting stack into 8 even portioned piles. Place these piles one at a time into your greased loaf pan, pressing them up against each other to fit them all in (see picture for a visual on how they should be placed in pan). Cover the pan with your damp cloth and place it in a warm place for 30-45 minutes to rise.

While dough rises, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or 325 if you have a glass loaf dish instead of a metal pan). When it’s risen, place the loaf in the center of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until dark golden brown on top (if you take it out at light golden brown, it’s liable to be raw in the middle, so let it get good and dark). Cool for 20-30 minutes on a cooling rack in the loaf pan while you make the glaze.

Make the glaze: About five minutes before the loaf is done cooling, bring the butter, milk, and brown sugar to a boil over medium-high heat in your saucepan. Remove it from heat, add the powdered sugar and vanilla (or rum), and whisk it to a smooth consistency.

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 flip it to turn it right side up. Drizzle glaze over top. Serve each piece slightly warm with a drizzle of glaze.


  1. This looks incredible... just this morning I was thinking, "It's about time I made some cinnamon rolls." I think this will go on the menu for next week instead. Thanks!

  2. it looks SO GOOD. i feel like i'll never make it until Andrew graduates. :( i want to eat it right now!

  3. It came out looking just lovely! So glad you enjoyed it! :)

  4. I'm making it right now. Not looking good. It's a fail so far.


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