Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lemon & Orange Pull Apart Bread

Dropped my baby off at his first day of Kindergarten this morning.

So...to deal I figured I'd better bake something.

Baking is my emotional heal-all coping mechanism.  The end product is just a bonus!  And this recipe combines some of my favorite things.  Lemon, orange, cream cheese, and bread!!  How could it go wrong?

It didn't!! 

But I did miss my little helper.  I kept hearing him in my mind: "Mom can I put that in?" " Mom can I lick that?" "Mom I love you so much you are the best Mom in the world & you make me the most wonderful things!"  (Ok, that last one was just a figment of my imagination...just dreamin'):)

Anyway, these are awesome gooey yumminess.  There may not be any left for the kids for after school, but what they don't know won't hurt them right??:)

Another bonus: all the baking, taking pictures, and blogging has keep this little Momma occupied so I don't go curl up in my closet and cry! 

Can't wait to see how his 1st day of Kindergarten went!!

Lemon & Orange Pull Apart Bread
Dough:
2 1/2-3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons yeast
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs

Lemon Orange Sugar Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
zest from 3 lemons
zest from 1 orange
4 Tablespoons butter, melted

Cream Cheese Glaze:
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Mix 2 1/2 cups flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl; set aside.

Heat the milk and butter in the microwave for about 1 minutes or until the butter is melted.   Pour into mixer and allow it to cool a little (about 5 minutes).  Add the yeast, water and vanilla and mix to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes.  Add eggs and half of the flour mixture and beat until smooth.  Add the remaining flour and mix.  Add more flour if needed.  The dough should be sticky, but smooth.  Place dough in a bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Cover with a towel and let raise until double, about 45 minutes.

It should look like this after it has raised.


Mix the sugar with the lemon and orange zest.  This is my absolute favorite part...it smells so good I have a hard time not just eating the zest!!:)


Grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Flour your surface and begin rolling out your dough into a rectangle.  It needs to be quite thin & approximately 20" by 12".  A ruler is a good help in this step if you're anything like me!


Melt the butter and pour over dough.  Using the back of a spoon or a pastry brush smooth the butter over the entire surface of the dough.


Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 12" by 4" strips, like shown.  As you can tell they are not exact...just try to keep them about the same. 


Place 1/5th of the sugar/zest mixture on one of the strips of dough.  Using your finger (yes this is a little messy, but your fingers work the best!) spread the zest all over the strip of dough. 

Stack the next strip on top of the zest covered one and put another 1/5th of zest on top and smooth out with your fingers.


Keep going until you have all 5 strips staked on top of each other.


Now take your knife and cut the stack into 2" sections, and place into greased loaf pan with the cut side up.


There will be 6 (or 7, depending on how accurate your rectangle was to begin with...mine was 7:)) stacks altogether.  Just keep stacking them into the loaf pan until it looks like this.


Cover lightly with saran wrap and let raise again for about 30 minutes or until about doubled in bulk.  Here's how it will look when it goes in the oven...YUMMY!!


Top view without the saran wrap...Oh My!


While it's raising, go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for 20 minutes and then pull it out of the oven.  It is not done yet, but should be getting pretty browned on the top, as shown here...


Cover it loosely with tinfoil and put it back in the oven to cook for another 10-15 minutes.  This will help it from getting too browned (or black)!!


While it is baking the last few minutes, whip up the cream cheese icing.   In a small bowl combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar and mix together until smooth.  Just keep smashing the cream cheese with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add the lemon juice and milk and stir until smooth.  If you have a few small lumps don't worry too much about it...it will look fabulous on the bread!


Pour over the bread and smooth it all over while the bread is still hot. 

Let sit in pan for 10 minutes and then you can dig in!  Delicious!

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