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.
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!
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
- 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)
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp freshly grated orange zest (~3 oranges)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tbsp orange zest (~1 orange)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Make your bread
- Put the 2 cups of flour, sugar and yeast in your mixer bowl. Use the beater attachment, and stir until combined.
- Put your milk and butter in a small saucepan. Turn the heat to low, and heat just until the butter melts.
- Remove the pan from the stovetop, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, stir in your water and vanilla.
- Attach a dough hook to your mixer bowl.
- Pour your butter mixture into the flour mixture. Mix until everything is just combined.
- Add your salt and eggs, one at a time. Beat well in between each addition.
- Add your orange zest, and beat the dough again. The dough should be pretty sticky at this point.
- 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!
- 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
- 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.
- Punch your dough down, then turn it onto the floured surface.
- Roll the dough into a large rectangle. The original recipe said 12×20 inches, but mine stretched slightly smaller than that.
- Brush your dough with the melted butter.
- Cover that with sugar, cinnamon and orange zest. Try to spread the filling evenly.
- Cut your dough into 5 strips from top to bottom, lengthwise. Then, cut horizontally into 6 sets of squares (See pics below!)
- Stack your dough into six stacks.
- 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.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and let it rise for another hour.
Bake your bread
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!