Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Maple Apple Pull Apart Bread

This pull apart bread is a delicious, sweet loaf that is made by layering thinly rolled bread dough with a sweet filling and placing it in a loaf pan to bake.

It's simply a matter of pulling thin layers of sweet dough and filling off the loaf and eating it!

What could be more fun than that?

My original plan was to make a sweet flavoured butter, but there were 2 soft apples sitting on the counter, waiting for my daughter to make applesauce. I decided to make a maple applesauce with them and use it in the layers of sweet dough.

The bread was so popular it was gone in a matter of hours, and everyone was asking for more. So I made another two loaves, one with cinnamon sugar and raisins, and the other one with a sweet cocoa butter.

Peel, core and dice 2 apples. You should have about 2 cups of chopped apple.


2 tablespoons butter


2 cups chopped apple
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon maple syrup

Cook over a medium low heat until the apple is soft enough to mash into a chunky applesauce.

Set aside to cool.


1/2 cup milk
2 ounces butter

When the milk is warm and the butter is melted, remove from the heat and allow it to cool to slightly warmer than body temperature.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, place:

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast

Add the warm milk and butter to the sugar and yeast, and leave it until the mixture starts to foam.


2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix well in between the addition of each egg, scraping the bottom of the bowl if needed.

Gradually add:

2 - 2 3/4 cup flour

Using the dough hook, mix until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough that is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, and knead by hand until it is smooth and elastic.

Form the dough into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap and leave it for 20 - 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough out to a rectangle that is approximately 18" X 20". The dough will have a thickness of 1/8" - 1/4".

Spread the cooled applesauce over the dough.

Cut the dough into 5 even strips, each approximately 4" wide.

Carefully lift the strips and stack them on top of each other.

Cut the stack of strips into 6 pieces, each about 3" wide.

Place the 6 smaller stacks of dough strips into a loaf pan that has been greased and lined with a strip of parchment paper.

Make sure that the pieces on the ends have the filling side facing inwards.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Leave the dough in the pan to rise until almost doubled.

Place into a pre-heated 350F oven to bake.

Bake for 45 minutes, until puffed, golden and crusty on top. If the top edges are browning too quickly, cover the loaf with foil. When the loaf is baked, leave it in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turning the pan onto its side, carefully pull the loaf out, using the parchment paper to help. Allow the loaf to cool, before serving.

As I mentioned above, I made two more loaves. The first one was spread with a sweet cocoa - butter filling, that I made by combining:

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ounces soft butter

The second was filled with a sweet cinnamon sugar and butter, made with:

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ounces soft butter

Raisins to sprinkle on after the butter is spread onto the rolled dough.

Chocolate Pull Apart Loaf

Cinnamon Raisin Pull Apart Loaf

  • The basic dough is quick and easy to make; the most time involved is the rolling, spreading and stacking of the strips, but the loaf is well worth the effort, judging by how quickly all three were eaten!
  • Drizzling a glaze over the top of the cooled loaf is an option...use 1 cup of icing sugar, and add liquid such as milk or juice until you have the right consistency to drizzle over your loaf.
  • A few minor changes that can be made to the dough are using white sugar instead of brown; using water or half water/half milk for the liquid; 1/4 cup vegetable or nut oil to replace the butter; the addition of spices or citrus zest to the dough.
  • The filling can be altered in so many ways, it actually makes my head spin thinking of all the options! I also have to restrain myself from making more of this bread right now, as we have just demolished three loaves in two days!
  • Start with the basic 2 ounces of soft butter and 1/2 cup of sugar. Then go wild! Some suggestions: lemon or lime zest with coconut sprinkled on before stacking (consider using coconut milk for your bread dough liquid); orange zest and cocoa, add chocolate chips if you want; any nuts, finely chopped can be used; nut butter can be used as all or part of the butter; honey can be substituted for the sugar, as can maple syrup; instant coffee and cinnamon; finely ground Chai or Earl Grey Tea; fruit compotes...cranberry and orange, mixed berry, roasted pear and ginger, salted caramel.
  • There is no reason why the loaves cannot be savoury, I think this would be great to serve with soup. For the fillings use and type of flavoured butter; soft cheeses mixed with herbs, spices or garlic; crumbled blue, feta or goat cheese with chopped dried fruit such as figs, apricots or cranberries.
  • Combine sweet and savoury by using maple butter and cooked crumbled bacon; blue cheese and honey roasted pears or honey thyme butter with dried figs.
  • The bread will freeze well...smaller loaves would make excellent hostess or Christmas basket gifts.

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