It’s Easter once again and this time I made sure to bake something for the occasion. As most of us know, the Easter Season is also referred to as the Holy Week in certain religions. We’re counting down the days leading up to Christ’s resurrection, so in many ways, Easter stands for a renewal of life.
Spring at its best and most vibrant.
That’s the reason why I wanted to share this particular recipe for a Blossom-shaped Pull Apart Bread. It just fits all too well for the season at hand!
If you’re anywhere in the Philippines right now, I am one with you when it comes to complaining about this blasted heat. It’s unfortunate we don’t have four seasons over here, but I feel like this bread kind of brings out some of that cool spring vibe.
I hope it’s not just me. 😉
Speaking of renewal, I’m taking an opportunity this long weekend to unwind– something I haven’t done in a long time! For once, my family and I aren’t traveling over the Holy Week, and I find that I’m okay with that. I do miss traveling, but I also legitimately cannot remember the last time I slept in. That’s on my agenda basically.
Also, part of my long weekend agenda is a little drawing. I’ve neglected my first love for too long already I’m not even sure if I still remember how to draw human anatomy correctly. Guess I’ll be finding out later!
Enough about my holiday plans! We’re here to talk about this bread, are we not? I don’t remember how I came across the original recipe for this Easter Blossom Pull-Apart Bread, but I remember being attracted to it because of how pretty it looked: As if the bread was made out of ruby-encrusted rosettes!
But when I read through the recipe, I had other ideas on how to maximize the flavor of the bread through other fillings, so I took some liberties because I’m now confident enough as a baker to roll that way haha!
This recipe makes two breads, which worked out in my favor. I wanted to try out that bejeweled rose effect; at the same time, I also wanted to go with a chocolate-cinnamon sugar filling rather than just using jam. In the end, it was the right decision. The chocolate-cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread was SO GOOD.
The dough this recipe makes is a deliciously rich lemon-touched bread with a nice crumb, so you can really fill it with anything you want. Nutella perhaps; or cheese and basil, if savory is what you want. (I’ll probably try that one next time. And make the other filled with lemon curd and topped with lemon sugar. Yum!)
More detailed instructions can be found below, but I’ll walk you through the process briefly. Shaping the rosettes is easy. Once you have your dough risen and divided into two, roll one portion out into a 12-inch round.
Then you basically just brush on the filling and slice the outer area into 20 strips, kind of like making a sun and its rays. Keep the center untouched as that will hold this bread together, so be careful not to cut through it. I highly suggest this glass trick:
Next, twist two of your sliced strips together, making sure the filling sandwiched between. Finally you just coil them back into rosette-like shapes.
It’s a bit more challenging keeping the chocolate chips inside the choco-cinnamon sugar version because they keep rolling out, but let me tell you it’s sooo worth it!
Once the formed dough rises, the coils will get stuck together nicely, but a brushing of egg wash will seal the deal. It will also give the breads a nice golden color and sheen once baked.
To be entirely honest, the cinnamon sugar-chocolate pull-apart bread is a lot tastier than the jam one, but you are welcome to try both as I have. Or try other flavors that might interest you since you have two pieces of dough at your disposal. 😉
As for the eating part, of course how else do you eat a pull-apart bread other than by pulling off the rosettes piece by piece? The one who has the biggest appetite can have the centerpiece!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour, plus more as needed
- 1/2 Tablespoon instant yeast
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup + 6 Tablespoons milk
- 2 eggs
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam or strawberry jam, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the unsalted butter with the milk until the mixture is just warm to the touch (about 110°F / 43°C).
- 2. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Gradually whisk in about 1/3 of the hot butter-and-milk mixture into the bowl of beaten eggs, working continuously to avoid cooking them. Return the tempered eggs back into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture. Stir in the lemon zest.
- 3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture, then use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir until a shaggy dough is formed. Attach the bowl to your stand mixer and allow to knead on medium, until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour 1/4 cup at a time if necessary until it comes together. (I ended up adding about 1/2 cup more of flour to get the perfect texture. Don't add more than you need to avoid a tough bread!)
- 4. Shape the dough into a round and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl seam side down. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- 5. Before using, punch down the dough and allow to rest for 10 minutes so that it doesn't bounce back when you roll it out. Divide the dough in half, and roll each half into a round ball. Set the other dough aside for a moment, covered with a towel or plastic wrap.
- 6. On a floured surface, roll out the first ball into a 12-inch circle. For the jam filled bread, brush the surface of the flour with 1/2 cup jam as evenly as possible.
- For the chocolate-cinnamon filling, mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush melted butter onto the surface of the dough and then sprinkle almost all the cinnamon sugar on top, leaving about 2 Tablespoons for topping. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. (You may also leave a bit for topping.)
- 7. Place a drinking glass face down into the center of the circle to act as your guide. Cut the dough into quarters with a knife or pizza cutter, starting from the edge of the dough circle to the rim of the glass. Cut each quarter into 5 narrow wedge-shaped strips, making sure the center stays perfectly untouched. Remove the drinking glass. You should have 20 narrow wedge-shaped strips surrounding the uncut center of the dough.
- 8. Pick up two adjacent strips of dough, press together to sandwich the filling, then gently twist together at least 4 times. Pinch the twisted strips to seal at the end. Do this for the rest of the strips until you get 10 twisted strips.
- 9. Pick out one of the twisted strips and gently coil to form a rough flower shape. Place this in the middle of the circle, where the drinking glass was. Coil the remaining 9 strips to make petals around the main rosette in the center. Finished bread has 9 "rosette petals" surrounding the center rosette. Repeat steps with the second ball of dough.
- 10. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the shaped breads onto the prepared baking sheet. (Just reshape them into rounds if needed.) Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place until almost doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
- 11. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) about 20 minutes before the end of the second rise. Beat the egg yolk with water in a small bowl and brush the mixture over both the breads. This will give the breads a lovely golden colour. For the chocolate-cinnamon filled bread, sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture on top and place the leftover chocolate chips inside the open spaces of the rosettes.
- 12. Bake in the preheated oven about 20 to 25 minutes, until the breads have turned golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack until just warm.
- 13. To complete the jam-filled bread, use your fingers or the handle of a wooden spoon to gently deepen the indentations in the center of each smaller rosette and the center rosette. Fill cavities with about 1/2 teaspoon (or more) of jam.
- 14. Serve warm. Eat individual servings by pulling the petals apart. Yum!
- *If you find this version of the bread lacking some flavour, you can glaze the bread by mixing together the juice of half a lemon and about 1/4 confectioner's sugar. Or just brush more jam on top of the baked bread!
- **Fillings above are measured for just one bread. Meaning, for the two portions of dough this recipe makes, I made one filled with jam and another filled with cinnamon sugar-chocolate. If you prefer just one of the fillings, double the quantity I wrote in the ingredients list above.
I just wanted to quickly mention that I have received a surprise nomination for a blogging award, so if you have the time, please do click on the icon below to vote for me.
I also got a citation from here, which I appreciate because it’s an honour to be mentioned alongside some of the Filipino bloggers I admire and follow. Thanks for the love everyone! 😘