So this is it. This is 30. Yesterday was the turn of a new decade for me, and to commemorate my twenties and the ten birthdays that passed in that time, I am sharing with you some pumpkin pull-apart bread.
I’m probably supposed to be in mourning right now. You’re likely expecting me to talk about how great my twenties were or to complain about getting older. Maybe you’re anticipating a lengthy list of resolutions for the 10 years that follow today, or perhaps you’re just scrolling through all this nonsense so that you can read about the baked goods (no judgement, BTW.)
To be honest, 30 feels a whole lot like 29. A lot of joy, a hint stress, the occasional internal battle. I’m sure in the coming years, I’ll continue to yell at my kids and count my gray hairs a bit too often. There will be vacations and laughter and long phone calls with friends, moments of fresh revelation and desperation for answers to prayers.
Our lives will forever ebb and flow- seasons of glasses half empty and days of cups running over. If 30 is different from 20 in any way, it is that I now know to expect the unexpected from life. And I’m okay with that uncertainty. I’ll relish in the highs and steady myself through the lows, knowing that that there are nuggets of gold and truth and hope to uncover in every season if I’m willing to smoke them out. For me, 30 is the year of resting in the things that I know, a time for dusting off bits of myself that sat hidden on the proverbial shelf during the busyness and insecurity of my twenties. Maybe 30 will be the grand unveiling of a woman who is beautifully average but so content in the aesthetic of her own skin that she sparkles in a way that a 20-year-old simply cannot.
Maybe 30 is the new 20.
I’m sharing this pumpkin pull-apart bread alongside a number of other bloggers who are slinging pumpkin-filled recipes for the annual Virtual Pumpkin Party. You might remember last year’s pumpkin cake with burnt sugar frosting? Well, we’re back at it again, bigger and better than ever, because that’s what we do. We grow, we progress, we get infinitely cooler over time.
This pumpkin pull-apart bread is fab. I adapted the recipe from my sweet potato cinnamon rolls which are a not-so-subtle nod to Ree’s famous buns. This pumpkin pull-apart bread is gooey and fragrant, the perfect comfort dish for the coming chilly seasons. If this bread was a sweater, it would be an oversized cable-knit turtle neck in a rosy shade of millennial pink. It’s fresh yet familiar all at the same time.
To make this pumpkin pull-apart bread, we start with a dough. Butter, milk, and sugar are warmed and sprinkled with yeast. The pumpkin is added next, along with of flour and spicy fall seasonings. While the original cinnamon rolls have a tender, moist dough, we add extra flour and kneading time to strengthen the pumpkin pull-apart bread dough. Once tacky and slightly stretchy, the dough is set aside to rise.
Next comes the rolling and stacking of the dough. We cut a ton of equal-sized tiny squares and layer them in a loaf pan with a cinnamon sugar filling so that each piece of bread, coated with gooey sweetened butter filling, pulls apart easily. The bread undergoes a second rise before it is baked and drizzled with more goo, this time a cream cheese glaze, slightly tangy and perfectly sweet.
This pumpkin pull-apart bread should be the centerpiece of your upcoming brunches and holiday meals. Simple, comfortable flavors in the packaging of a unique and modern treat. Give this pumpkin pull-apart bread a try and I promise that you’ll fall in love. Be sure to check out the other recipes involved in the #virtualpumpkinparty! You’ll be seeing them scattered over various sites today, and they’re sure to knock your socks off. Many thanks to Sara for coordinating this fun little get together.
If you like this pumpkin pull-apart bread, you should check out:
Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread
This pumpkin pull-apart bread s sweetened with a cream cheese drizzle and is the perfect addition to fall and winter breakfasts and brunches.
- Prep Time: 200
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 230
For the dough:
- ½ cup (120 mL) whole milk
- ¼ cup (55 gm) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (50 gm) sugar
- 2–1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¾ cup (170 gm) pumpkin puree
- 2–3/4 cups (360 gm) all-purpose flour, plus up to ¼ cup more if needed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
For the filling:
- ¼ cup (55 gm) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup (100 gm) sugar
- ½ cup (100 gm) brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
For the icing:
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1–2 teaspoons milk
- Combine the milk, butter, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and stir to combine until the butter has melted. Remove from heat to the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl) and allow to cool to lukewarm. Once cooled, sprinkle the yeast over the top and allow it to dissolve, stirring occasionally as needed.
- Stir the pumpkin into the milk mixture and then add the remaining ingredients. Using a dough hook attachment (or your hands) knead the dough on medium speed for 5 minutes. The dough should be tacky but pull away from the sides of the bowl easily. Grease a large bowl, place the dough inside, and cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap. Allow it to rise in a warm spot in the kitchen until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Grease a standard loaf pan (8.5” x 3.5”) and roll the dough out onto a well-floured surface into a 12”x 20” rectangle. Use the back of a fork to combine the butter, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg into a creamy paste. Gently spread this over the entire sheet of dough.
- Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 6- 12” long strips. Carefully make two stacks of dough (with three strips in each stack) and cut each stack into three equal pieces. You should end up with 18 equal-sized rectangles of dough. Layer all of the dough pieces in the pan, being careful not to squish to dough pieces down too much. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and allow to rise a second time and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Once the dough has risen about ½-1” above the top of the pan (about 30 minutes)s, place in the preheated oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the top has turned golden and set, even in the middle. You can gently touch some of the pieces of dough in the middle of the pan to ensure that it doesn’t still feel soft and mushy. Be sure that the dough is not under-baked in the center or your loaf will deflate when you remove it from the oven. Once baked, allow the loaf to cool in the pan on a cooling rack.
- Once almost all the way cooled, remove the loaf from the pan and prepare the icing. Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with a hand mixer until smooth. Add just enough milk to make it loose enough to drizzle. Pour over the top of the loaf and serve! You can rewarm in the oven or microwave as well.
Recipe adapted from Ree Drummond