Sunday, 8 January 2012

Happy New Year everyone. This is my first post for the New Year and hopefully the first of many! I have made a card - the first in ages.....but I have been baking (see below)!!! The challenge over at Secret Crafter this week is Let them eat cake and this layout comes from the fantastic sketch over on Sweet Stop Sketch challenge Blog.

The papers I have used here come from Milson & Co range (free pad with Papercraft Essentials Magazine), the cute little image came free from Sliekje Digi Stamps and the sentiment is from Stampin up. The image has been coloured with promarkers and I used a fiskars border punch for the edging. Black and pink cardstock from my stash!!

Now onto the baking. I spotted a pull apart Lemon cake on Pin Interest via here. I have changed the recipe slightly as the dough was far too sticky, so I added the flour differently.

I am not sure if I would call it a cake - I am thinking its more like bread, so I am going to call mine Pull apart Lemon Bread!! The smell when it is cooking is just fantastic and it simply just pulls apart - all the slicing is done before it is cooked. Also I was unsure if actual plain flour would work with yeast and would it rise (but it did), I am guessing that strong bread flour, would give it a different texture. I didnt use an expensive brand of plain flour either (er cough Aldi for 52p).
Being desperate to try it out yesterday, am visually thinking I had all the ingredients I started out by getting the flour, yeast etc all mixed and ready. However when it came to adding the vanilla, I discovered I didn't have any - so I used a coconut flavoured one instead. I also only had two lemons instead of three, but it did have a lovely lemon taste with a hint of coconut - but will definitely use 3 next time. It was the softest, tastiest bread and even the ends were tasty. Mine is looking a bit extra brown (didn't hinder the taste) because after 20 minutes when I was supposed to have covered it in foil - I discovered I didn't have any foil either!!! I then had to hope it would be cooked quickly - it did - within 30 minutes. To top it all off - the bread came out of the oven, it had moments to cool before the first slices were pulled of and comments were made how good it tasted - only this morning I realised I never poured the icing over the bread - so I am so going to have to make this again!!

The sliced bread risen and filled with lemon and sugar

The cooked Loaf

The inside with flecks of lemon and orange zest.

Pull Apart Lemon Coffee Cake (Bread)

Sweet Yeast Dough
2 3/4 cups plain flour plus some extra
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
2oz unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Lemon Sugar Filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Zest of three lemons
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
2 oz unsalted butter, melted

Tangy Cream Cheese Icing
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Make the dough:

Heat the butter and the milk together until the butter melts. Set aside to cool slightly. While it is cooling Mix the flour with the yeast and the sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the water to the milk mixture and stir in the vanilla extract

Pour the milk mixture over the flour and stir until combined. Mix with an electric mixer at low speed and add the eggs one at a time, mixing each egg until it is combined.

Sprinkle the dough with 2 tbsp of flour and knead it with a dough hook for 3 minutes. The dough will be sticky but should become soft and smooth from the kneading. Leave the dough in the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.

Mix the sugar, lemon zest, and orange zest. It will draw out the citrus oils and make the sugar sandy and fragrant.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan or spray it will baking spray

Forming the loaf: Deflate the dough with your hand. Add flour by the tablespoon as necessary, kneading it to incorporate the flour so the dough is soft enough to roll out on floured surface into a 20″ by 12″ rectangle.

Melt the butter and use a pastry brush to thickly coat the dough with the melted butter

Use a pizza cutter, or a sharp knife to cut the dough crosswise in five strips, each about 12″ by 4″ (it might not be this exact size, but try to make the five strips be equal sizes). Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon sugar over the first buttered rectangle and gently press the sugar in. Top it with a second rectangle, sprinkling that one with 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon sugar as well. Continue to top with rectangles and sprinkle, so you have a stack of five 12″ by 4″ rectangles, all buttered and topped with lemon sugar.

Slice this new stack crosswise, through all five layers, into 6 equal rectangles. Carefully transfer these strips of dough into the loaf pan, cut edges up, side by side. it might be a little roomy, but the bread will rise and expand after baking. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until puffy and almost doubled in size, 30 to 50 minutes.

Bake the loaf for 20 minutes and then check to make sure that top isn't browning too quickly. If it is, just cover the top of the loaf with tinfoil and continue baking for a further 10 to 20 minutes until the loaf is golden and cooked. (Mine took 30 minutes in fan assisted oven) When done, transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.

Make the cream cheese icing. Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together until smooth, then add the milk and lemon juice. Stir until creamy and smooth. Spread over the warm bread. Enjoy