Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Citrus Pull Apart Coffe Cake Loaf

I have a confession to make. One that if you knew me, you would know quite well.
I LOVE Florida.
It might be the wonderful memories of family vacations attached to the place (like the ones from our most recent trip) or the fact that it has palm trees, beautiful weather throughout most of the year, and it's where The Happiest Place on Earth (Disney World) is.
So, basically I HAVE to move there one day.
My life depends on it....well maybe not my life, but it sure would be ultra happy-making to live there permanently.

Okay, with that said and done here is a cake/loaf/pull-apart thingy that Caitlin and I made after returning to the cold and snow after our vacation in Florida.

It has citrus in it so to remind us of the sunshine state.

When you take a bite think of your very own favourite vacation spot. I know I will.

Citrus Pull Apart Coffee Cake
adapted from Radishes and Rhubarb


2 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 package instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Citrus filling

1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup butter, melted

Cream cheese icing

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Make the dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, the yeast, and the salt and set aside. Heat the milk and butter in a small pan over low heat just until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat, add the water, and set aside until warm or about 120 to 130°F.
Add the vanilla extract and pour the milk mixture over the flour-yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until incorporated. Stop the mixer, add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour, and resume mixing on low speed until the dough is smooth, 30 to 45 seconds. Add 2 more tablespoons flour and mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth, soft, and slightly sticky, about 45 seconds.
Remove the dough from the bowl and quickly form into a ball. Sprinkle a work surface with a small amount of flour. Knead gently until smooth and no longer sticky, about 1 minute. You can add additional flour if needed, but try not to use more that 2 tablespoons.
Place the dough in a large lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl securely with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes. The dough is ready for the next step when you can press your finger lightly into the surface and the indentation remains.

Lemon Filling

Make the paste while the dough is rising. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and both zests. Set aside. The mixture will appear dry at first but the sugar will draw moisture from the zest making a wet paste.
Assembling the Cake

Lightly butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.
Punch the dough down. Remove from the bowl and on a lightly floured surface, roll it out the dough into a 20-by-12-inch rectangle. Using a pastry brush, spread the 1/4 cup of melted butter over the dough. Be generous with the butter, but you may not need it all. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into 5 strips, each about 12 by 4 inches. Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar/zest mixture over one of the buttered rectangles. Top with a second rectangle and sprinkle it with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture. Repeat with the remaining dough sugar mixture, ending with a stack of 5 rectangles.
Slice the stack crosswise through the 5 layers to create 6 equal strips, each about 4 by 2 inches. Fit these layered strips into the prepared loaf pan, cut edges up and side by side. Do not worry if it does not fit exactly into your pan. The dough will spread to fill the space as it rises and bakes. If it is tight lengthwise that is fine. 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. During the last 20 minutes of the second rise, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the coffee cake until the top is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.

Cream Cheese Icing

In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the milk and lemon juice until the mixture is creamy and smooth. The mixture should be a little runny.
While still warm, remove the coffee cake from the pan, loosening the sides with a spatula and invert on a baking rack
Place a piece of waxed paper under the rack to catch any drips from the icing. Pour the icing mixture over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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