Photo Credit: Stephanie Ma
I’ve recently been obsessed with pulling things apart. Understandable, given that I’m a graduating senior, working part-time, without any concrete post-grad plans and pretty darn hungry all the time. Times like these require you to go back to the basics – butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon…and more butter and sugar. Bake this bread my friends, then whilst in your angst, you can do something more productive than baking bread: you get to eat it! Enjoy these times while you still can.
Stephanie is a pescetarian, unemployed and is currently at the mercy of many law school admission officers. When she’s not baking out her frustration, Stephanie likes shopping for her ever-expanding mustard collection. She’s also been trying to take better photos…of food. You can see more of them here.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Ma
Cinnamon Apple Pull Apart Bread
Modified from Joy the Baker and Honest Cooking
Serves 2-3 (any more people and I guarantee you won’t get any)
For the Dough:
2 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
¼ cup of white sugar
1 packet of yeast
½ teaspoon of salt
2 ounces of unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup of skim milk
¼ cup of water
2 large eggs (room temperature and beaten well)
For the Filling:
2 ounces of unsalted butter, melted and browned
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon of cloves
1 apple, peeled and sliced in to small pieces
To make the dough, start by mixing 2 cups of your flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In another bowl, mix your melted butter and with the milk and water, whisking well. Now pour in the wet with the dry, and mix well. Add the remaining flour and combine well. Place your dough in a well greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and kitchen towl. Put in a warm environment to allow it to double in size. This takes about 1 hour.
While waiting, make your filling! Melt your 2 ounces of butter until brown. Add the vanilla and take it off the heat to cool. Mix your sugar and spices in another bowl, you’ll just be sprinkling it on your dough later. Keep your apple slices thin and small. Grease your loaf pan.
Now the fun part, assembling the bread! On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Add a tablespoon or two of flour to your dough if it’s super sticky. You want to roll it out to a pizza base thick-crust consistency. Slather on your butter generously. Sprinkle your sugar-spice mixture generously. Add your apple slices all around the base. Cut your dough into equal squares, about the size of an iPhone is fine (I know iPhones aren’t squared). Stack them and slide the dough into your loaf pan. If your squares are not of equal size, that’s okay too. Let it sit again for 30 minutes and start preheating your oven to 350°F.
When you’ve let your dough sit for 30 minutes, put it in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden. If you can resist, let it cool. If not, seize the moment and enjoy immediately. Instant gratification is made for human indulgence.