Lemon-Scented Pull-Apart Bread
Recipe courtesy of Leite's Culinaria
- About 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope)instant yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 2 ounces unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
For the lemon filling
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (3 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
For the icing
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Stir together 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, the yeast, and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer; set aside.
- In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave until melted. Add the milk & stir to combine.
- Add the water & vanilla to the milk butter mixture and let stand until just warm, not hot.
- Pour the milk mixture over the flour-yeast mixture & using a rubber spatula, mix until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Attach the bowl to the mixer & fit the mixer with the paddle attachment.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until incorporated.
- Stop the mixer, add 1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) of the remaining flour, & resume mixing on low speed until the dough is smooth, 30 to 45 seconds.
- Add 2 more tablespoons flour & mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth & slightly sticky, about 45 seconds.
- Knead gently until smooth & no longer sticky, about 1 minute, adding an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons flour only if necessary to lessen the stickiness. *I used my stand mixer for the kneading, you could knead by hand on a floured surface.
- Place the dough in a large bowl, cover the bowl securely with plastic wrap & let the dough rise in a warm place (about 70°F) until doubled in size, about an hour. *After this rise, you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap & refrigerate overnight, then let sit out at room temp for 30 minutes before proceeding on with the recipe.
- While the dough is rising, make the filling.
- In a small bowl, mix together the sugar & the lemon & orange zests. Set the sandy-wet mixture nearby.
- Center a rack in the oven & preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan or lightly coat the pan with nonstick spray.
- Gently deflate the dough. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 20-by-12-inch rectangle.
- Using a pastry brush spread the melted butter generously over the dough.
- Sprinkle the zest-sugar mixture the buttered rectangle.
- Cut the dough crosswise into 5 strips, each about 12 x 4 inches.
- Stack the strips on top of each other.
- Slice the stack crosswise through the 5 layers to create 6 equal strips, each about 4 x 2 inches.
- Fit these layered strips into the prepared loaf pan, cut edges up & side by side.
- Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap & let the dough rise in a warm place (70 °F) until puffy & almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Bake the coffee cake until the top is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Check it around 20 minutes & see if it's browning on top too quickly, add a layer of loose foil on the top if it is, since the top will burn before the middle is cooked through.
- Transfer to a wire rack & let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, vigorously mix the cream cheese & sugar until smooth.
- Beat in the milk & lemon juice until the mixture is creamy & smooth.
- To remove the coffee cake from the pan, run a butter knife around the edges release the cake sides. Invert a wire rack on top of the coffee cake, invert the cake onto the rack &carefully lift off the pan. Invert another rack on top, invert the cake so it is right side up & remove the original rack.
- Using a pastry brush, coat the top of the warm cake with the icing to glaze it. (I served mine on the side to dip or spread on individual pieces.)
- Serve the coffee cake warm or at room temperature.