Pull Apart, Again. Now with more lemons!

Since the previous run at the Cinnamon Pull Apart – which has the complete recipe details and pics – was such a success (vanishing in about 12.6 minutes), I thought I’d give the Lemon version a go. The dough recipe is the same as the previous post so grab that there; the details of this lemon filling are a little bit further down here. For this post, we’ll catch up with the last part of the process since the basic dough instructions are exactly the same ast those for the Cinnamon version. Here we’ve got the stacked and filled pan. So what was different this time?

The dough itself began the same as the previous dough except this time I used the famed Bertinet “slap it around” Stretch and Fold method. Sort of surprisingly, it worked! What was a very wet, sticky sugary dough in not too much time became easy to handle. And I did it all by hand; no mixer used at all. This is where the Bertinet method really came in handy.

You can see the Bertinet video on the Stretch and Fold page.

I also popped the dough, once doubled, into the fridge for an overnight stay due to time constraints, then warmed it up for an hour on the counter the next morning.

Now here’s the filling recipe for this lemon version, based on the recipe found on either Leites Culinaria or HungryGirlPorVida:

226 g 8 oz 1 cup granulated sugar
zest of 5-6 lemons
56 g 2 oz 1/4 cup unsalted butter

I used regular lemons and zested six of them. Which left me with a lot of naked lemons. We’ll find something to do with them. If you can find it, you could also use the pre-packaged frozen lemon zest, using about 3 tablespoons or to taste.

This sugar mix is simply made by rubbing the lemon zest into the sugar (or stirring in the frozen zest). That resulted in just slightly damp sugar which our friend Phyl was wondering would avoid the excessive “loss” of sugar in the  cinnamon version if that mix was dampened a bit. The answer is “nope”, it seems. I had just as much sugar escaping while cutting and stacking the pieces. Still, it’s simple enough to collect it and sprinkle it back on top of the pieces and the stacked dough as you go.

One thing I did note is that cutting the 12 in. side in six strips made for a LOT of pieces (36) to pile up, causing the very bendy stack you see in the photo above which was about 15 minutes into the 45 minute final proof. By slicing that direction into just four strips would reduce the number of pieces to 24  and make stacking a little simpler. I’ll try that next time. Or maybe 5 strips, making 30 pieces. We’ll see. 36 just seemed too many.

So from that point, the process was identical to the cinnamon one. Into the 350°F oven for 35 minutes it went. I did check at about the 25 minutes as the dough was browning a fair bit. The internal temp was 143°F so a fair ways to go to 190°F; I covered with foil and continued baking for the remaining 10 minutes. Here’s what it looked like:

The swirvy stack REALLY went screwy when it proofed and expanded but that just added to it’s eccentric charm. The next thing to check was the crumb…

As you can see, it’s very well dotted with bits of lemon zest. The aroma was wonderful and the taste, very nice.

I also passed on making the cream cheese icing because I had no cream cheese. I don’t think it really missed the extra topping and I suspect it might even have made the whole thing a tad “too sweet”.  The icing recipe is on the HungryGirlPorVida site but simply, it’s mixing 3 oz (85g) room temp cream cheese with the juice from one lemon plus 1.25 oz (35g) sifted icing sugar then cover the bread top with it.

Compared to the cinnamon version, this lemon bread is a bit more subtle and delicate in flavour, less “in your face” than the other. I quite liked it’s slightly subtle tone. It would go well with tea!

If you have a few lemons you need to use up, this is an excellent bread to whip up. Give it a try!

14 Replies to “Pull Apart, Again. Now with more lemons!”

  1. I’m totally making this in the swirly pattern next time…I LOVE the way the final looks! Not sure the lemon one can compare to the cinnamon, but I should probably give it a try. =)

  2. Great to see you posting again! I have this bread (well, the cinnamon one, actually) in my plans for this coming week, I hope I can “pull it” 🙂

    Loved the pattern in this one… gorgeous!

  3. You’re way ahead of me! I still haven’t even got the cinnamon version done. Your lemon bread looks awesome! Did you put any kind of glaze on top? I love tea in the evening and you’re right it would go good with that.

    1. Thanks, Melanie.

      I had wanted to use up one naked lemon for juice in the icing but we didn’t have any cream cheese for the stated recipe. So the loaf is “plain” but that doesn’t seem to be an issue. It’s still very tasty. And it’s got enough sugar in it already anyway, more could be construed as “excessive”.

    1. “Unfold”? Hmmm… now that’s an interesting idea, Jo! Instead of cutting the long strips into small squares, you could just fold/stack them, maybe intertwining the end of one strip with the next… You’d need to butter both side then so the backs didn’t stick together, then add the sprinkled filling on top of each fold as you built it up. That would be fun to try to see what the end result came out like.

      Who here, who hasn’t made this yet – or is making it again – wants to give this a go?

  4. Oh. My. Goodness. I WANT IT!!

    You’re using a 9×5″ pan, correct? I’m having people visit this week and this looks like something I’d like to start at one end of and just keep munching along to the end.

    The cinnamon pull apart bread looks good, but this one looks better. 🙂

    1. Yes indeed, it’s a 9 in X 5 in pan. You could maybe cut your strips/slices in a 5 X 6 grid or even 4 X 6 so the stack is made up of 30 or 24 rectangles instead of the 36 small ones I got here from a 6 X 6 grid. But go with whatever floats your boat, the smaller-slice 36 stack gave me an interesting zig-zag shaped loaf once it proofed and got plenty of oven spring. Less but wider slices would give a neater straight stack. Either way, you end up with the same amount of yummy bread in the end! 😉

  5. It’s not folded is it? I was just looking at the pictures, lazy me. Well, it looks like a concertina squashed sideways. Note to self : read recipe properly before leaving comments 🙂

    1. lol Yes, it’s bent like a badly handled concertina, but it’s a big long stack of little squares crammed into too-short a pan for the stack’s height.

      Still, I’m liking your folding idea…

  6. Paul, your pull apart bread looks so delicious I had to make my own. In stead of lemon I used candied pomelo. It was great. The only thing I changed was the amount of sugar, your recipe called for 226 grams and this was too much for me. I used about 125 grams. I was confused about the cup size of granulated sugar, I found many different amounts in grams, from 191 grams – 230 grams. Any way, thanks for this great pull apart happy bread.

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