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To be honest I had never heard of a pull apart bread until very recently. Yes I have made bready desserts like cinnamon buns/rolls that you tear apart and everyone gets one but the term pull apart bread is new to me. A lot of the blogs I follow have been talking about these pull apart breads and I decided to jump on the bandwagon so to speak and make one too. I’m not a huge fan of cinnamon (sorry if this offends anyone) so I need a little more filling to my bread to keep me interested.

On Sunday some of our good friends said they were going to stop by for coffee in the afternoon. Panic set in as firstly the house was a mess, secondly I had nothing to offer them and thirdly we had a fully packed day with grandparent duties and buying our gorgeous new tumble dryer (yes I finally gave in and let D get one). I decided to make a pull apart bread as I actually had the ingredients. Inspired by the lovely Pastry Affair‘s recipe, I used the dough recipe and created my own filling. Getting up early, I set about making the dough and then we left the house and went about our duties. Came home later, did the next step of the recipe, and went about more homely duties. Finally after throwing together the filling and piecing the bread together, I popped it in the oven. Just in the nick of time as just as the oven buzzer beeped, our friends arrived! I glazed the bread and allowed to cool as we caught up. We rarely get to see our friends, often going too long without a proper catch up. But when together, it is lovely to just chat away and to see how big and lovely their children have become. I served my bread and something that has never happened to me before happened. They asked me to email them the recipe! Yaysies, they enjoyed it (mini high five to myself). So I decided to write this post for our dear friend Agnieszka and of course my new found blogging buddies on Fiesta Friday , I hope you enjoy!

It took me a while to get this recipe together as of course, typical me, I didn’t think to write down what I put into it, so I had to remake it several times on my day off to get it right. I now have a tonne of it lying around and actually I froze some slices of it (that were going stale) and think it may make a very nice base for a Sunday french toast. Anyhoo this is my take on pull apart bread…

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APPLE, PEAR AND TOASTED HAZLENUT PULL APART BREAD WITH CARAMEL

You could use anything fruity in your kitchen for this. I just happened to have apples and pears but cranberries, apricots, ginger, orange and coconut are ideas for variations on this bread.

For the dough:

  • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 60 ml luke warm water
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 85 g butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 115 ml sour cream
  • 400 g plain flour

For the filling:

  • 2 apples, sliced and chopped
  • 1 pear, sliced and chopped
  • 50 g chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar, I used Demerara
  • 2 tbsp runny caramel sauce

For the glaze:

  • 60 g icing sugar
  • 3 tsp runny caramel sauce
  • 115 ml sour cream

THE HOW

Dissolve the yeast in the water and allow to sit about 5 minutes until activated (looks frothy). Stir in sugar, salt, melted butter, eggs, and sour cream.

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Gradually add 2/3  of the flour, mixing well. If dough sticks too freely to the spatula, add the remaining 1/3 of flour. Cover dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in a warm place, about 2 hours. Punch down dough and allow to rise a second time until doubled, about 1 hour.

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When the dough is nearly done with it’s second rise, pre heat the oven to 170°c (fan oven) or 190°c (non fan). Put your apple, pear, spices, sugar and lemon juice into a saucepan and simmer over a medium heat until the apple is less crunchy and the juices become slightly thicker, about 10 minutes.

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When the dough is done, turn it out of it’s bowl onto a floured surface and kneed it lightly for a minute, just to allow you to roll it without sticking. Roll it out into a big rectangle. The thicker it is the larger your pull apart slices will be, I rolled mine quite thin as I wanted to have a slighlty more seem less pull apart bread.

Spread the apple mix onto the rolled out dough. Sprinkle the toasted hazelnuts on top and drizzle the caramel sauce lightly over it.

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Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into about 5 -6 vertical strips (the longer length) and picking the strips up carefully, stack them on top of each other. Then cut into 6 squares of equal size. Stack them into a lined loaf tin. I held mine vertically and layered them in so they didn’t smush down (fall over or sink).

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Pop the tin into the oven on a middle shelf and bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Depending on your oven, keep an eye on the top as due to it’s uneven surface some pieces may brown quicker than others. I covered my outer edges with foil for the last few minutes rather than taking it out and the centre being underdone.

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Just before taking the bread out of the oven, heat the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and stir. When the bread is ready, take it out of the oven and drizzle with the glaze. You can use a pastry brush also. Leave to cool and the glaze sinks into the bread. Remove from the tin and take the paper off.

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Place in the centre of a table and let people dig in!

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