Spiced Apple Pull Apart Bread


Makes 1 large loaf



2 tablespoons butter

3 medium apples (I used Honeycrisps), peeled, cored and chopped

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Dough

3 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (1-ounce) package rapid rise or instant yeast (equal to 2-1/4 teaspoons)

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/3 cup warm whole milk

1/4 cup warm water

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare the filling: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the apples; saute 1 minutes, until warmed through. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, salt and cornstarch to the pan; toss to combine. Cook the mixture until apples are softened and the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla then set mixture aside to cool completely.

Prepare the dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, milk, water, eggs and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to teh dry ingredients, mixing on medium speed until well combined. Continue to mix, adding more water or flour in small amounts if necessary, until a smooth soft dough forms, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Form the dough into a ball and place in a large lightly buttered bowl.  Cover the bowl and set aside in a warm, draft-free area until the dough has doubled in size, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Generously butter a large loaf pan (I used a 10" X 5").

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it to a 12" by 20" rectangle. Spread the cooled apple filling evenly over the surface of the dough.

Cut the dough crosswise into six even strips (about 3-1/2" by 12" each). Carefully stack the strips on top of each other in two stacks so that you have two stacks of three strips each (this part is kind of messy.) Cut each stack into four even pieces. Turn the pieces on edge and carefully place them in the loaf pan, one in front of the other, from one end of the pan to the other, squeezing tightly to fit.

Cover the pan and allow the loaf to rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Bake the loaf for 30 minutes. Tent the top of the loaf with foil, then bake for 15 to 25 minutes more, until deep golden brown. Allow the pan to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then carefully turn it out of the pan to cool completely.