What’s Cooking with Emily Staufer: Caramel Apple Pull Apart Bread

By Emily Staufer

Homemade bread is a big favorite in my family because really, what’s not to love about nice, warm, yeasty bread? Of course, I like to put my own spin on things, especially to reflect the seasons, so this recipe has not only all there is to love about plain-old bread, but also delicious chunks of apple, cozy cinnamon, and – the best part – gooey caramel.

staufer bread

Ingredients:

(For dough):

¼ cup warm water

2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/3 cup milk

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

(For filling):

¾ cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and diced (I recommend Golden Delicious or Granny Smith)

(For caramel glaze):

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons milk

Instructions:

In a large mixing bowl combine warm water and yeast. Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe dish, heat milk and butter together until butter is just melted, but not too hot, and add vanilla. Back in the large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, and salt on top of the water/yeast mixture. Using a mixer on low speed, add eggs, and pour in the milk/butter/vanilla mixture gradually until a soft dough forms. Add flour by the tablespoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. Knead for three minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt for the filling. Set aside. Just before the dough is done rising, peel and dice the apple and melt the butter.

Turn risen dough out onto a floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle (roughly 12×24 inches). Dough will be rather thin. Brush dough with melted butter. Sprinkle the entire surface with the cinnamon/ sugar mixture. Cut dough into long, equal-sized strips. Sprinkle the first strip with 1/6th of the diced apples. Lay the next strip atop the first. Sprinkle with apples and cover with another strip. Repeat until all the strips are stacked. Cut the stacked strips into 4-6 equal stacks of squares (about 4-5 inches in length). Stack the squares vertically into a greased 9×5 loaf pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake the bread on the middle rack of the oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. If the bread gets too brown on top before it’s done cooking in the center, cover loosely with foil for the remainder of bake time. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.

Prepare the glaze by adding the butter, brown sugar, and milk to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute (or just get some caramel sauce if you’re a lazy/ impatient person).

Turn loaf out onto rack with parchment paper underneath it. Drizzle the loaf with the warm caramel. Best enjoyed the same day it is baked.