Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Orange Pull-Apart Loaf - it's what's for breakfast

I'm not a big breakfast-eater, and part if the problem is that I'm not a big fan of things like cold cereal. I like eggs, but I'm more likely to eat them for lunch or dinner.

Bread, on the other hand is simple enough for me to deal with in the morning, and obviously I like bread. Sometimes I'll slice whatever I have on hand and make some toast. But sometimes I prefer a bread that's different. This orange-flavored bread is one example. It's a little bit sweet, but that's offset by the orange.

While this bread has a little more sugar than normal, and a little more butter than normal, it's got enough flavor that you don't need to add any butter to it when you eat it. You can slather it with butter if you want to, of course. But it doesn't need it.

And unlike some sweet breads that stale quickly, this one was just as soft the next day.

Orange Pull-Apart Loaf

1 cup lukewarm water
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup (3 ounces) semolina flour
2 tablespoons honey
3 cups (13 1/2 ounces) bread flour
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar (or more, as needed)

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, semolina flour, and honey. Stir to combine and let it sit for 10 minutes - it should be a bit foamy.

Add the bread flour, orange juice, egg, and salt. Knead with the dough hook until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Add the vanilla extract, orange extract, and butter. Continue kneading until the dough is shiny and elastic and the butter is completely incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until the dough has doubled in size, about an hour.

Flour your work surface, and turn out the dough. Knead the dough briefly, then cut it into at least 16 pieces. You can cut it into more, if you like. The pieces don't have to be completely even - I like the idea that some pieces are larger and some are smaller. Roll each piece into a ball.

For these buns, I used a baking dish that was 8 inches in diameter and 4 inches high. Anything of a similar volume would work. If you want a little extra insurance that your buns will release from your pan, you can spray it with a little baking spray.

Pour the sugar onto a small plate, roll each ball in the sugar to coat it, and arrange the pieces loosely in your baking pan. If you need more sugar to coat all the pieces. If you have extra sugar, sprinkle it over the top of the buns in the pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set aside until the dough has doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center of the oven.

When the buns have risen, remove the plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees until they are nicely browned, about 35 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, let it cool on a rack for 5 minutes, the turn the loaf out and let it cool on a rack. Cover the bread with a clean kitchen towel of you want a soft crust.

This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.