Orange Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

Before we get into the details of this recipe: go add six oranges to your shopping list. Do it right now, so you don’t forget–because you’ll want to make this bread, ASAP.

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And yes, you read that right. This recipe uses a whopping six oranges. You’re mostly using the zest, though you’ll throw a bit of juice into your glaze. Don’t worry about wasting the rest of the fruit–zested oranges last a couple days in the fridge, so you can just eat the rest later.

Ok: now onto the details. This bread makes any morning sunnier. It’s like a gooey, soft cinnamon roll, made ten times better by lots of orange zest. It’s definitely sweet and decadent–and the ultimate morning pick-me-up. I compared a few recipes for orange cinnamon rolls before picking this one, and noticed lots of bloggers talking about nostalgia for this flavor combo. I never had Pillsbury’s Sweet Orange Rolls as a kid…but if you did, this bread apparently tastes like that!

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Give yourself plenty of time for this one. You need to let the dough rise twice, and you’ll want the bread totally cool before icing it at the end. I promise it’s worth it! This was my first time making a pull apart bread, and I really liked how it turned out. It’s easier than doing rolls, and looks really cool once it’s finished.

This is the perfect recipe for Easter brunch, or your next brunch potluck…or you can be like me, and bring it to work next Monday. Whatever you do, trust me: people will thank you.

Orange Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

Original recipe: How Sweet Eats. I’ve rewritten things a bit and added commentary.

Yield: One 9×5 loaf

Suggested equipment: Mixer, with a dough hook and a beater attachment

Total Time: ~1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients

Dough 

  • 2 cups and 3/4 cups flour, separated
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup milk (whole or 2% is fine)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated orange zest  (~2 oranges)

Filling 

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated orange zest  (~3 oranges)

Icing 

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp orange zest (~1 orange)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Make your bread 

  1. Put the 2 cups of flour, sugar and yeast in your mixer bowl. Use the beater attachment, and stir until combined.
  2. Put your milk and butter in a small saucepan. Turn the heat to low, and heat just until the butter melts.
  3. Remove the pan from the stovetop, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, stir in your water and vanilla.
  4. Attach a dough hook to your mixer bowl.
  5. Pour your butter mixture into the flour mixture. Mix until everything is just combined.
  6. Add your salt and eggs, one at a time. Beat well in between each addition.
  7. Add your orange zest, and beat the dough again. The dough should be pretty sticky at this point.
  8. Add your remaining 3/4 cup of flour in small increments, beating another 2-3 minutes. You’ll know you’re done when the dough comes together again. It should still be pretty sticky!
  9. Oil a bowl, and place your dough inside. Cover the bowl with a towel, then leave it to rise in a warm place. It should take about an hour to rise–check to make sure it’s poofed up before you move onto the next step.

Fill your bread 

  1. Once your dough has risen, prep your workstation for the next step. Flour a flat surface that’s large enough to roll out the bread.
  2. Punch your dough down, then turn it onto the floured surface.
  3. Roll the dough into a large rectangle. The original recipe said 12×20 inches, but mine stretched slightly smaller than that.
  4. Brush your dough with the melted butter.
  5. Cover that with sugar, cinnamon and orange zest. Try to spread the filling evenly.
  6. Cut your dough into 5 strips from top to bottom, lengthwise. Then, cut horizontally into 6 sets of squares (See pics below!)
  7. Stack your dough into six stacks.
  8. Brush a 9×5 loaf pan with melted butter. Put your dough stacks into the pan, then smush it together. Make sure to press the dough together well, so it sticks together while baking.
  9. Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and let it rise for another hour.

Bake your bread 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and set. I ended up tenting mine with foil near the end so I could keep cooking the insides without burning the top.
  3. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes before moving onto the glaze.

Add your icing 

Note: I only used half the icing. Adjust based on how much glaze you usually like! 

  1. Whisk all icing ingredients together until a glaze forms. It should be pretty smooth–if it seems thick, add more orange juice 1 tsp at a time. If it seems to thin, whisk in a few more tablespoons of sugar until you reach the right consistency.
  2. Drizzle glaze all over your bread. It’ll end up in some of the bread pockets…mmm.

This definitely is best served warm, but it tasted great after it cooled, too!

 

 

 

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Pumpkin Banana Bread

I try to avoid buying produce at Trader Joe’s because I’ve noticed it goes bad really quickly. And when you’re cooking for one person, you really need produce to last more than a couple days.

One notable exception: bananas. Yes, they also go bad pretty quickly. But an overripe banana isn’t waste: it’s a baking opportunity. So now I buy TJ’s bananas planning to bake with whatever goes super brown.

img_5972.jpgThis time, it was Pumpkin Banana Bread. This bread is incredibly flavorful with hints of both banana and pumpkin pie spice. It’s also super moist, because pumpkin and banana are both texture boosters. You add a nice crumble on top, and get a layered bread that’s the ultimate breakfast booster. Or afternoon booster. Or whenever else you like to eat your treats….no judgement here.

Pumpkin Banana Bread

Original recipe: Cookies and Cups. I’ve rewritten things a bit and added commentary. 

Yield: 1 9×5 loaf

Total Time: ~2 hours. A lot of that is baking time vs. prep!

Cook Time: ~70 minutes

Ingredients

Bread 

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I make my own with this recipe)
  • 2 cups flour

Crumble topping 

  • 1/4 cup butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (can sub in light if it’s all you’ve got)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

Make your bread 

  1. Preheat your oven to 300F
  2. In a large bowl, mix your sugar and oil
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla, then mix until it’s all smooth
  4. Add your mashed banana, pumpkin, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spice. Stir until it’s combined. I used a wooden spoon for this step
  5. Fold in your flour. Mix so you can’t see any traces of flour, then stop—you don’t want to overmix!
  6. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray, then line it with parchment. I tend to leave extra parchment hanging over the sides so it’s easier to remove the bread from the pan. It still might be sort of hard, but this makes it easier!
  7. Pour batter into the pan

Make your crumble and bake the bread 

  1. Grab a medium bowl, and add your butter, brown sugar, flour and pumpkin pie spice
  2. Use a fork or your hands to mix the ingredients together. You want to mix until a coarse crumb forms. I found it much easier with my hands!
  3. Sprinkle your topping over the loaf batter
  4. Bake for 65-85 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Don’t assume the bread is done just because the topping starts to brown—it might still be undercooked in the center. If you need to bake the bread longer and you’re worried about burning the top, use a foil “tent” to cover the top.
  5. Put the pan on a cooling rack, and leave it there for 20 minutes. Then, remove the bread from the pan, and put it on a wire rack to finish cooling

This bread kept well. I think it tasted even better on day 2, and still tasted great on day 3!

 

Blueberry Banana Brown Sugar Bread

A couple weeks ago, I bought bananas with a very important mission: baking them into some sort of delicious bread. I picked out a couple bunches at Trader Joe’s and let them sit on the counter to brown. A bit impatiently, I will add- I really wanted to bake! At long last, the bananas looked delightfully mushy and ready to go. And so off I went down the rabbit hole of banana-laden recipes.

20160131_154454This is the recipe that won. Some banana breads turns out dense, or flavorless, or boring… and this bread is none of those things. It’s a wonderfully satisfying bread, with lots of texture thanks to the combo of mashed bananas and Greek yogurt. Two types of brown sugar give it a subtle sweetness, but it isn’t overtly sweet- it’s more of a molasses-y effect. It uses frozen berries rather than fresh, and they plump up nicely during baking so that you get a juicy bite whenever you happen upon a berry. This recipe is simple to make, too. No fancy equipment, 1 single bowl. The original recipe also includes a a blueberry butter to slather on top of the bread. I didn’t do that part- but it sure does sound yummy.

As I made this bread, I realized it demonstrated some good pointers about baking habits, so I’m going to call them out below. For starters- pay attention to the size of your pan. The original recipe says this yields 2 8×4 loaves. But I only had bigger pans. I knew I could use them, as long as I watched how much batter I poured in, and kept an eye on baking since it would likely take longer. I ended up making 1 9×4 loaf and then throwing the leftover batter into muffin tins since I didn’t have a 2nd loaf pan that seemed like it’d be a good fit for the amount of batter sitting on my counter.

I was going to share a few slices with my boyfriend and then bring the rest to work, but that plan was vehemently vetoed. So the bread remained at home with us and my coworkers got the “overflow” muffins- plus the other banana baked goods I’d made in my quest for the ultimate banana treat!

Blueberry Banana Brown Sugar Bread 

Original recipe: Averie CooksI’ve added more instructions and commentary to the original recipe. 

Yield: 1 9×4 loaf + 6 muffins (the original recipe says the yield is two 8×4 loaf pans) 

Suggested equipment: None! 

Total Time: ~1 hr 15 minutes (will depend on how long your bread needs to bake)

Cook Time: ~55 minutes (My loaf pan was bigger so it took longer than the initial recipe suggested. The muffins cooked much quicker so make sure to check them ~15 minutes in) 

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg (I always set mine out a bit before I bake so it hits room temp)
  • 6 ounces plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (Averie says you could also use sour cream; I used plain Greek yogurt, full fat) 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil OR coconut oil OR canola oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed (this means you make sure the entire cup is filled) 
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (I used 3 medium bananas) 
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • About 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries (No need to thaw. You should eyeball the amount as you mix in the berries and make sure it doesn’t look like too many berries per your batter) 

Step by Step Directions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350F
  2. Line your loaf pans or muffin tins
  3. Combine egg, yogurt, oil, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl
  4. Whisk the ingredients to fully combine them together
  5. Mash your bananas- I do this with a fork, in a small bowl
  6. Add bananas to the egg mixture, and stir to incorporate the banana. It will look sort of lumpy at this point
  7. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to your mixture
  8. Fold all the ingredients with a spatula or spoon. Make sure to occasionally “flip” the batter on the bottom to the top to check if your dry ingredients are well-incorporated into the batter. Sometimes, dry ingredients pile at the bottom and you won’t realize it until you start to pour the batter into the pan- so it’s important to fold the bottom to the top throughout your mixing. Just don’t overmix!
  9. Turn batter into prepared pans, smoothing loaf tops with a spatula and pushing it into corners to fill the pan if you need to. If you’re making muffins, fill the cups about 2/3 of the way full to allow space for the muffins to expand as they bake
  10. Original recipe suggests baking the loaf 40-45 minutes but this will definitely depend on your pan- so start keeping an eye on it around the 40 minute mark. My loaf took 55 minutes and I had to tent it with foil at the end so the top wouldn’t burn while the middle kept setting (this is a good trick for loaves when you’re waiting on the middle to bake). If you’re making muffins, start checking around 15 minutes to see if they’re starting to brown on top. Regardless of what form you’re baking, you can check doneness by sticking a toothpick in the middle. It should come out clean when the bread is done
  11. Averie says the bread will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Of course, as always…. I didn’t test this out. Nothing ever lasts that long around here! I do think it tasted even better on Day 2, though, when the flavors melded together even more.

Web-Hopping vol. 15

Welcome to the final round-up of 2015! I hope everyone had a nice week this past week, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. I got a day off from work, and spent a good chunk of it baking up new recipes- more details to come in 2016!

10636782_10100907719464742_93744108974496804_oMy week started off on a lovely baking note, too, because I got a prize in the mail from Rodelle. I’d won a blog raffle via Baking Bites, and am now the proud owner of Rodelle spices and extracts. I started scheming the minute I got them, and they’re definitely going to good use soon. Baking Bites is one of my favorite baking blogs, by the way- you’ve probably seen it pop-up in these posts from time to time. not just because of the awesome recipes, but its author Nicole also does great product reviews and really helpful technique posts, too. Super useful information for bakers of all levels so it’s good reading for all of us.

Now, on to this week’s links:

Marla Bakery’s New Location: One of my favorite SF brunch spots has opened a 2nd location over in the esteemed Ferry Building marketplace. I actually love going to Marla’s full restaurant, and reviewed it a bit ago. Still, it’s rather out of my way- so I’m excited to have closer access to their excellent breads, pastries and meals!

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Blueberry Thyme Pie Bars from Floating Kitchen

Blueberry Thyme Pie Bars: These bars look beautiful and it’s a flavor combination I simply can’t resist. I love throwing herbs in desserts and this sure sounds promising. (More on herb-filled desserts soon: that was part of my baking experimentation over Christmas!)

Nutella-Stuffed Gingersnaps: I discovered these playing on the Rodelle site and I am 100% on board. I firmly believe gingerbread season extends into January so I expect to make these soon.

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Gooey Nutella Condensed Milk Bars from Butter Baking

Gooey Nutella Condensed Milk Bars: Condensed milk takes cookie bars to a whole new level.

Chocolate Chinese 5-Spice Cookies: Another interesting flavor combination, and since I’m a sucker for throwing “unique” spice combos into cookies, I’ll have to try it out.

Ginger Citrus Cookies: These just sound refreshing- and almost healthy somehow?

Pesto, Sundried Tomato, Kalamata Olive Braided Bread: This link offers up tons of variations on twisted braids- lots of flavor combos to pick from. But I am particularly interested in the Pesto, Sundried Tomato and Kalamata Olive variety since those are some of my favorite kinds of bread on their own.

Web-Hopping vol. 8

I finally broke in my new oven! I made some blondies for a Halloween party last night and was very happy with the results. You can expect to see the recipe up here sometime later this week.

This week was much more buttery than I anticipated due to a rather last-minute trip to NYC. I managed to visit 2 new bakeries in 36 hours, and won’t pretend to hide my pride on that. I already blogged about one of the bakeries and will post up a review of the second soon. For now, let’s nibble on some links, shall we?

Seb’s photo of his handiwork. I wish I could just reach into that photo and grab some bread…

Twisted Squash Bread with Smoked Cheddar, Red Onion and Sage: This one comes via my friend Seb, who posted beautiful photos of his finished loaves up on Facebook. I had to have the recipe so he sent it my way. He recommended adding in some garlic and chive and upping the onion a bit. Can’t wait to try this myself!

Tiered Birthday Cake: I love this idea from the blog ginandmorecake. It’s a tiered cake of 3 different flavors to mix things up a bit, and all the flavors sound wonderful: spiced ginger, carrot and walnut lemon drizzle.

Halloween Candy Map: The Kitchn published this map showing the “top” Halloween candy per state and I am very disappointed in California- Life Savers?! That’s definitely not what come to mind when I think of Halloween candy.

From the Kitchn

Mummy Cookies: I know Halloween is sooo yesterday but these cookies are just too adorable not to share. I’m rather un-artistic but I think even I could make these cute cookies look just about right.

Brownie Bites with Oreo Frosting: These sound like the perfect simple treat: a classic brownie topped with a creative frosting.

Chai Shortbread Cookies: I love tea in baked goods so these chai cookies caught my eye.