Friday, September 30, 2011

Pumpkin Pull-apart Bread with a Buttered Vanilla Glaze

Did you know that autumn is officially here?

Not that we are having real fall weather here (we will hit 90° today) but still the calendar says we are official as of September 23rd.

And since we are official it's on to everything pumpkin and Halloween.  I try really hard to wait till after the official day of fall before I pull out all my pumpkin recipes that I have been saving for a year and try not to make them all in one day.

But it's really hard to choose which ones to make because I have at least 50 saved in my bookmarks not to mention they are popping up everywhere on pinterest.

As a random side note, I completely and totally love pinterest.  I could spend hours on there and I find the most amazing things (not that those things get accomplished--especially the crafty projects).  But the recipes are to die for.  
That's where I found this lovely lady.  Isn't she beautiful?

So pumpkiny and so fall.  And so delicious.  The kids devoured almost the whole loaf that night and even asked for some to go in their lunch boxes.  I love when they love it!

I have been wanting make this pull apart bread for a long time but have been putting it off.  Who knows why, I think maybe it's because it looked a little different and weird for bread to be cooked like that but I finally decided to give in and just do it.  And it was so much easier than I expected, not to mention it looks fancy and it's delicious.  Woot!

Perfect for a fall day.

Random side note:  see those leaves in the pictures?  I couldn't resist using them because they are so pretty and represent fall completely.  My tree is turning colors, which I absolutely love, but which the hubby doesn't really like cause that means raking season is going to start!  Ahhh...the joys of yard work.

Pumpkin Pull-apart Bread with a Buttered Vanilla Glaze

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 c. hot milk (I just used the microwave)
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
3/4 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c. white sugar
1 t. salt
2 1/2 c. bread flour

1 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Buttered Vanillla Glaze:
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/8 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. milk
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla*

*Can substitute 1 Tbsp. of rum for vanilla

1.  In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown 2 tablespoons of butter, letting it bubble up and turn a dark golden brown but being careful not to allow it burn (turn black). Once browned, remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the hot milk, return to stove and heat through. 

2.  Pour the milk and butter into the bowl of stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, and allow to cool so it is no longer hot but also not cool (about 100-110 degrees F). Once it has reached a warm but not hot temperature add the yeast and 1/4 cup of sugar and allow to bubble (this can take up to 8 minutes, the top will look foamy and the liquid cloudy). Then add the the pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Stir until combined then add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time and knead for 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and just slightly sticky. If the dough is too moist, add extra flour 1 tablespoon at a time.

3.  Move dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.

4.  While dough is rising, brown another 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well.  Making sure sugar evenly absorbs the butter. Set aside. Next, grease and flour a 9x5 loaf pan and set aside.

5.  When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and flip out onto a clean floured surface and knead with hands for 1-2 minutes. Roll dough into a 20x12 inch rectangle.  Evenly sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture and press into dough with palms of the hand. Cut the rectangle into 6 strips. Lay strips on top of each other and cut each strip into 6 even squares (cut in half then each half into thirds). Stack strips vertically into the loaf pan. Cover the pan with a clean towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes.

6.  In the meantime preheat an oven to 350 degrees. After rising in the pan bake for 30-40 minutes (mine took 35 exactly but I was using a stone so just keep an eye--or two--on it) or until top is a very deep golden brown.  Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.

7.  While bread is cooling, make the glaze.  Heat the butter, milk, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil then immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar.  Whisk until smooth.

8.  Remove bread from pan, drizzle with glaze, and eat immediately.  Enjoy!

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