Ok, so pull apart bread seems to be my whole life. Since making Joy the Baker's LIFE CHANGING cinnamon loaf last summer I can't stop thinking about it. On any occasion I just want to whip out the yeast and get going. Remember how we celebrated my 21st birthday? Pull apart peanut butter and banana bread. I JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH. I need help, yes. And surely by now you've guessed what we're making for Easter (of course you have, assuming you've already read the title of this post). Hot Cross Bun Pull Apart Bread. You might be wondering why I haven't just made Hot Cross Buns, but like last year, I still don't want to be entirely traditional. And y'know, any excuse to make pull apart bread. I cannot resist.
So let's talk about this uh-mazing bread a little, shall we? All the flavours of hot cross buns are kicking around but with added bow chicka wow wow. Served warm, this bread with ooze marmalade-y spiced sugar goodness. Each slice will be jeweled with dried fruit and peel and guess what? We add orange glaze JUST BECAUSE WE CAN. It will also fill your kitchen with the smell of sweet, baking bread - and who doesn't love that?!
Easter will never be the same again.
For Hot Cross Bun Pull Apart Bread you will need:
1 loaf tin
For the dough
50g granulated sugar
7g yeast (1 packet)
1/2 tsp salt
60g unsalted butter
80ml whole milk
3 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling
100g dried mixed fruit and peel
4-6 heaped tbsp marmalade
100g granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of grated nutmeg
For the glaze
juice 1/2 orange
100g icing sugar
a little orange zest for decoration
We made exactly the same dough in my peanut butter bread, but we'll go through the process again. Begin by combining 260g of the flour with all the sugar, salt and yeast. Whisk together and then set to one side.
Now melt the butter and milk together on a low heat until the butter is all melted.
Add in the water and vanilla extract and then set aside.
Leave to cool a little and then add to the dry ingredients.
Get stuck in with a spatula and work into a ball.
Beat your eggs and pour into the dough mix.
It will look scary and goopy to begin with, but keep working it and you will end up with a thick wet dough batter.
Add the remaining 130g flour and mix in like a maniac again.
Then transfer to a large greased bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
Now to prep our spiced sugar. Begin by pounding your two cloves with a pestle and mortar.
You're going for a powder like consistency, make sure there are no hard bits of clove still floating around.
Then add the cinnamon and the nutmeg and grind all of the spices together.
Add to the sugar, still through and set aside.
Once your dough has risen, knock it back, add 2 tablespoons of flour and then work it into a manageable ball.
Turn onto a large, floured surface.
Roll out as big as you can, aim for 12x20 inches. Then spread the base in marmalade. You need a thin covering so make a judgement call on how much you need.
Scatter over your mixed fruit and peel.
WHAT HOT CROSS BUN DREAMS ARE MADE OF.
Then your spiced sugar.
Now slice into six equal(ish) strips.
Layer one on top of one another.
Then slice again into six pieces.
Place the layers into a greased loaf pan facing upwards. Cover with a clean tea towel and then leave to rise again for 45 minutes until nearly doubled in size. Then put into an oven preheated to 180c for 35-40 minutes until it is looking dark, caramelized and delicious.
Quickly whip up your glaze by gradually adding the orange juice to the icing sugar. If you add it all at once it may be too thin. Add until it has the same dropping consistency of single cream.
Now take your loaf out of the oven and leave to cool for about 10 - 20 minutes.
Turn your bread out onto a serving board or plate by running a flat knife around the tin and then drizzle away with your orange glaze.
Uuhhh. Easter never tasted so good.
Sprinkle with orange zest if your heart desires a little extra colour.
Tear apart and share asap. This bread is best served warm and still oozing marmalade-y spiced sugary goodness. It is great cool too, but I mean C'MON. Just eat it.