Pull apart breads come in all flavors , ready for breakfast , lunch, dinner or any time in between . These are meant to be shared , no slicing required .. Apple walnut Pull Apart loaf is lightly sweet – perfect for laid back breakfast or to take along on a picnic.. Honestly this is one bread that tastes heavenly when warm , don’t bother with cooling racks and such .. Perfect for those laid back Sunday mornings with just a mug of coffee or .. pretty much any drink that you fancy …
With pre-made dough it is quite easy to put together pull apart breads . But homemade dough is so much better , not only is it fresh but much healthier as well . It is hard to tell that this dough uses over 50 % whole wheat and is lean as well .
The first step is to make the bread dough . Take the egg out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature . Warm 1/4 cup water or milk to 100- 110 °F or just warm to touch . Add 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast and stir gently . Let it sit undisturbed for 5 to 10 minutes . At the end of this period the yeast would been activated and there will be bubbles forming as in the picture . The tiny dots you see are the yeast that did not get mixed in , I am not worried about this as there is enough activity going on already ..
Take the dry ingredients – flours, salt the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar – in a large bowl . Mix it together and make a well in the middle . Pour the activated yeast in this well followed by the egg . Use a fork to break the egg and mix it with the yeast water . Coarsely grate one firm apple , about 1 cup , and add this to well along with 1/4 C water . Using hands (or a stand mixer set on low ). mix everything together adding the remaining liquid couple tablespoons at a time .
Gently knead the dough for 10 minutes , form into a ball and place in a well oiled bowl . Cover with a wet kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place till doubled , about 1 hour .
Once the dough has doubled , use your hand to punch it down and turn it out to a lightly floured kneading surface . With a rolling pin roll out the dough into a 10 inch by 12 inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the melted butter . Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top followed by the chopped walnuts . Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife cut the dough into 8 rectangles . Fold each rectangle over so that the stuffing sandwiched . Brush the top side with butter .
Brush the inside of a 9X 5 inch bread pan with melted butter and stack the rectangles side by side with the open ends facing up . Sprinkle the top with with left over walnuts , cinnamon sugar and butter .
Cover with a plastic wrap and let rise till doubled in a warm place – about 45 minutes .The bread will be peeking out from the top of the loaf pan by now.
About 10 minutes before baking preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) . Bake the loaf for 30 to 40 minutes or till done . Cool the bread in the pan for a few minutes . Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes or till warm to touch , before serving .
- To get a better oven spring try the following method . About 10 minutes before baking place a sheet pan in the lower rack and preheat the oven to 400°F (200 °C) . To bake place the loaf pan in the middle rack and place a few ice cubes in the sheet pan . Close the oven door and reduce heat to 375 °F (190°C) and bake for 10 minutes . Reduce the heat to 350 °F (175 °C) and bake for 20 to 25 more minutes until done .
- If there is brown sugar sprinkled on top, you might want to cove the top of the bread with an aluminium foil to prevent over browning during the last 10 minutes or so of baking .
- This recipe can be made without using the egg , I would recommend substituting the egg with 2 tablespoons of butter / oil and and adding few extra tablespoons of liquid during kneading .
- To make a vegan version follow the egg substitution above and replace milk with water / almond milk .
- This recipe makes a lightly sweet loaf . Increase the sugar to your taste . For added sweetness finish with a simple glaze .
Apple Walnut Pull Apart Loaf
For the dough
All Purpose Flour - 1 C
Whole Wheat Flour - 1 1/2 C
Water / Milk - 1/2 C to 3/4 C
Egg - 1 (Large)
Yeast - 2 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Sugar - 3 tbsp
Apple - 1 C grated (Any firm kind)
Walnuts - 1/2 C , chopped
Brown Sugar - 1/4 C
Cinnamon - 1/2 Tsp
Melted butter - 3 Tbsp (unsalted)
For Glaze (optional)
Confectioner's sugar - 1 C
Water/Milk - 2 tbsp
Vanilla extract - 1/4 tsp
Make the dough :
Activate the yeast in 1/4 C lukewarm water / milk mixed with 1 tbsp sugar .
Mix the flours , sugar and salt in a large bowl . Coarsely grate the apple .Make a well at the center of the flour mix , and add the yeast mixture , followed by the egg , grated apples and 1/4 C water /milk. Knead to form a soft dough adding the remaining liquid , one tablespoon at a time . Once the comes together in a ball knead gently for about 8 to 10 minutes .
Oil a medium bowl and transfer the dough ball into it .Turn the dough so that all sides are evenly coated in oil . Cover with a wet kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place till doubled - about 1 hour .
Prepare the filling :
Chop the walnuts coarsely . Melt 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter . Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon well .
Coat th insides of a 9 X 5 loaf pan with butter. Punch down the dough .Lightly flour a kneading surface . Roll out the dough into 10 X 12 rectangle . Brush the dough with melted butter .
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar followed by chopped walnuts on top. Cut the dough into two 5X 12 rectangles. Cut each rectangle into 4 equal pieces. Fold each piece along the middle and brush the tops with butter . Arrange the pieces side by side in the loaf pan with the ends facing up . If there is any leftover filling , sprinkle it on the top .Cover with a plastic wrap and let rise on a warm place till almost doubled , about 30 to 45 minutes .
Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until done (Refer to notes). Cool in the pan for 5 minutes . Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely .
Whisk together powdered sugar , milk and vanilla for glaze . Drizzle over the cooled bread .
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