Can you ever have enough apple recipes this time of year? I can’t, and I hope you have room for another one in your kitchen, because this Apple Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread totally deserves your time. Not only does this bread fill your house with the wonderful scents of cinnamon and freshly baked bread, but it’s way less work to make than you’d imagine thanks to a secret weapon: frozen bread dough.
I’m horrible at rolling out dough or pastry of any kind. Seriously. We make homemade pizza all the time, and my kids always giggle at the shape of the pizzas they find on their plates. So while the frozen bread dough may be a short cut for you, it’s a necessity for me.
This bread comes together pretty quickly. And since it’s meant to look irregular, there is no added stress to get the bread dough slices perfectly (or even remotely!) even. Slice a loaf of frozen bread dough, dip each piece of dough in cinnamon-sugar and butter and stack the bread dough pieces in a loaf pan. Toss some diced apples with brown sugar and a little bit of butter and stuff it all in between the bread pieces. Let the dough rise, pop it in the oven and try to be patient while it cools enough to eat.
When the brown sugar-apple mixture bakes, the sugar melts and caramelizes the bottom of the loaf. You’ll see this when you remove the bread from the pan. Now some people will stop there and call the bread perfect. Not me. I couldn’t leave well enough alone so I added a vanilla glaze to the top of the loaf. Of course, that step is totally optional…just not for me.
P.S. This Apple Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread is delicious for breakfast but is equally tasty as a mid-afternoon snack. It’s probably best eaten the day it’s made, but I had no problem eating it again the next day (and the day after that!)
1 loaf frozen white bread dough, slightly thawed (just enough to slice)
¼ cup melted butter
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
⅓ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 large tart apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored and diced
1 tablespoon butter, softened but not melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup powdered sugar
1 - 2 tablespoons heavy cream or half and half
Spray a 9" x 5" loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Place melted butter in another shallow bowl. Slice bread dough into 20 pieces. Dip a piece of bread dough in melted butter and lightly dredge in cinnamon sugar. Stand upright in loaf pan and repeat with remaining bread dough pieces. If you have any butter or cinnamon sugar mixtures remaining, pour it over the top of the loaf.
In another small bowl, combine brown sugar, melted butter and diced apple. Evenly divide the apple mixture between each bread dough slice. (It will be very snug already, so you'll have to smush the apples in. Some will fall to the sides of the pan, but they will absorbed by the rising dough.) Cover with plastic wrap coated with cooking spray and allow to rise in a draft-free place until at least double in size. (My loaf took approximately 2½ hours to rise.)
Once dough is risen, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25-35 minutes. If the top browns too quickly, gently tent with foil. Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes and remove to wire rack to finish cooling. (You may want to place a piece of parchment or foil under the wire rack to lessen the mess if you still have some runny caramelized sugar on the bottom of your loaf.)
Combine butter, vanilla, powdered sugar and just enough cream to reach desired glaze consistency. Drizzle over loaf.