This morning, Dwight woke me up, whispering in my ear “8”. I am like, “what?!!”, with my half sleepy voice. He was unusually happy at 5 o’clock in the morning with a cute smile on his face. Come to find out, he was happy because we only have 8 days left before we go on vacation.
Knowing how much he needs to get away, I am happier for him than myself. But I must admit – I am looking forward to it as well, mainly because this time of the year, the beginning of the fall, is my absolute favorite time in the States. I have been missing it since we’ve moved here to Virgin Gorda, and I am glad that this year, even if it is just for a short amount of time, I will get to enjoy the smell of autumn in the air.
So in 8 days of time, we are heading to Santa Fe, New Mexico first, and then to San Miguelle D’Allende, Mexico. Neither of which we have ever been. Therefore, lately if I am not cooking or photographing food, I am surfing on the Internet to find out about things to do, places to eat and visit. Needless to say, I can’t wait.
Have you ever been? If you have, do you have any suggestions? I would love to hear.
Speaking of autumn, my favorite fall ingredient, pumpkin is out. Even on Virgin Gorda. My reasoning to bake this pumpkin-cinnamon bread is totally for selfish reasons. This is my way of getting us excited about the smells we are going to experience during our trip. The smell of the cinnamon- pumpkin- brown sugar combination is what I am talking about.
About this recipe: This Pumpkin-Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread recipe is my first time making a pull-apart bread. And I must say, to my surprise, it came out perfect on my first try. The recipe is from Kinfolk’s Recipes for Small Gatherings cookbook. Though I should mention, I made a couple of changes to it, as I found their version to be a little sweeter than we’d prefer. I also added some walnuts, because I can’t imagine pumpkin bread without some sort of nuts in it.
If you are like I was, thinking that making pull-apart bread looks and sounds to complicated, just hear me out for a second, because it really isn’t. Yes, it does take some extra time, because this is a yeasted bread and yeast needs time to do its magic, but the end product is so worth it.
I thought it would be helpful to demonstrate with pictures, so I photographed the process along the way.
Once the dough has risen, all you have to do is:
- Roll it to a 12X9 rectangular and sprinkle it with the butter-sugar-walnut mixture.
- Cut it lengthwise in to 6 strips.
- Stock each strip on to the other.
- Cut it horizontally into 6 pieces.
- Place each stack into a 9X5 loaf pan.
The pumpkin-cinnamon-walnut combination peeking out of different parts of the bread makes it not only visually appealing, but also delicious with a little bit of sweet and nutty flavor with every bite. I served it with some butter on the side for breakfast to accompany my pumpkin spiced-latte, but Dwight says it tastes delicious with a cup of hot green tea as well.
Pumpkin-Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread
- Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
- 2+2 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (0.25 ounces) active dry yeast
- 1+1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 cup (8 ounces) pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups (15 ounces) bread flour, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup walnut, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan in medium heat until it turns to light brown and you see small brown bits at the bottom of the pan, 2-3 minutes. Pour in the milk and let it come to 110-F degrees. (Note: This happens very quickly.)
- Place the butter and milk mixture in a medium-size mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until it foams.
- Stir in the pumpkin puree and salt. Fold in the flour in 3 additions.
- Transfer the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. It should be an elastic and slightly sticky dough.
- Use the olive oil to grease a large bowl. Place the dough into the bowl seam side down and roll it inside the bowl to ensure that it is covered with the olive oil. Cover it with stretch film and let it sit on the kitchen counter (or in a warm part of your house) until it doubles in size, about 1 1/2 hour.
- In the mean time, mix the remaining butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1 cup sugar in a small bowl. Fold in the walnuts. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F Degrees.
- Transfer the dough onto your kitchen counter and roll it out to a 12X9 inch rectangular. Sprinkle it with the butter, sugar, walnut, and cinnamon mixture.
- Cut the dough lengthwise into 6 equal pieces. Then stack them on top of each other. Cut the strip into 6 equal pieces.
- Place them into a 9X5-inch loaf pan. (* See the pictures in the blog post for visual instructions.)
- Cover it lightly with stretch film and let it rise (in a warmer part of your house) for 30 minutes.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top part of the bread turns golden brown.
- Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before slicing.
Recipe adapted (with changes from) The Kinfolk Table: Recipes for Small Gatherings.