Thursday 22 May 2014

He Heals the Broken Hearted

Another bake along, another challenge. I like this. I have never baked a pull apart bread before and a lemon scented one proves too irresistible for me to bake along this blog hop.

If you read the recipe, it looks like a tedious and complicated work ahead but it is not. I didn't even bother to follow the strips measurement, but I have 5 layers and 6 strips as stated in the recipe.. I would prefer all lemon zest to get the full lemony flavour. This is a sweet bread and I think it tastes better with the cream cheese frosting. The frosting is not sweet but tangy. I baked in 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and the excess in one small ramekin.

Lemon-Scented Pull-Apart Coffee Cake 
Leite's Culinaria
Flo Braker


For the sweet dough
about 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (60g)
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the lemon filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 to 3 lemons)
1 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
2 ounces unsalted melted (60g)

For the cream cheese icing
3 ounces cream cheese, softened (80g)
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar ( slightly less)
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


Make the sweet dough

  • Stir together 2 cups of the flour,sugar,yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter over low heat just until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat, add the water, and set aside until about 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract.
  • Pour the milk mixture over the flour-yeast mixture and, using a rubber spatula, mix until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Attach the bowl to the mixer, and fit the mixer with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing just until incorporated after each addition. Stop the mixer, add 1/2 cup flour, and resume mixing on low speed until the dough is smooth, 30 to 45 seconds. Ad 2 more tablespoons flour and mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth, soft, and slightly sticky, about 45 seconds.
  • Sprinkle a work surface with 1 tablespoon flour and turn the dough onto the flour. Knead gently until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky, about 1 minute, adding an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons flour only if the dough is unworkably sticky. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes. Press the dough gently with a fingertip. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready for the next step.
Make the lemon filling

  • While the dough is rising, in a small bowl, mix together the sugar,lemon zest and orange zest. Set aside. the sugar draws out moisture from the zests to create a sandy-wet consistency, so don't be alarmed when you see this.
Assemble the coffee cake

  • Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 350F (175C). lightly butter a 9 by 5 by 3 loaf pan.
  • Gently deflate the dough. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 20 by 12 inch rectangle. Using a pastry brush, spread the melted butter generously over the dough. Cut the dough crosswise into 5 strips, each about 12 by 4 inches. Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the zest sugar mixture over a buttered rectangle. top with a second rectangle and sprinkle it with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the zest sugar mixture. Repeat with the remaining dough rectangles and zest sugar mixture, ending with a stack of 5 rectangles. Work carefully when adding the crumbly zest filling, or it will fall off when you have to lift the stacked pastry later.
  • 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. 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. Press the dough gently with a fingertip. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready for baking.
  • Bake the coffee cake until top is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.
Make the cream cheese icing

  • In a medium bowl with a rubber spatula, vigorously mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the milk and lemon juice until the mixture is creamy and smooth.(mix everything with an electric mixer)
  • To remove the coffee cake from the pan, tilt and rotate the pan while gently tapping it on a counter to release the cake sides. Invert a wire rack on top of the coffee cake, invert the cake onto the rack, and carefully lift off the pan. Invert another rack on top, invert the cake so it is right side up, and remove the original rack.
  • Slip a sheet of waxed paper under the rack to catch any drips from the icing. Using a pastry brush, coat the top of the warm cake with the icing to glaze it. 

Is this a coffee cake or bread? It tastes like bread to me. A sweet, soft fluffy bread with sweet citrus scent.
No knife needed!

This post is linked to Bake Along hosted by Zoe from Bake for Happy kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Lena from Frozen Wings.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3


  1. exactly. Reading the recipe may seem a bit daunting ..haha..but it 's actually not that complicated at all. This lemony sweet bread is a great flavour , i love it a lot plus the creeam cheese icing, it is really nice. Thx for joining another delicious challenge with us!

  2. Hi Lian,
    This was a great challenge, my first time joining in. Your bread - and yes, I would agree that it is a bread, but sweet enough to be dessert ;)! - looks beautifully soft and fluffy.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog.

    1. Hi Zosia, thanks for stopping by too.

  3. I will have to give it a try!

  4. Hi Lian,
    Glad that you have tried out this bread. It is good, and I love the cream cheese icing too, it is not sweet, but so lemony delicious, which I've added more lemon juice.
    Thanks for baking along with us!

  5. Hi Lian,

    Baking this recipe is easy peasy task for you? I know you are always an avid baker :D Totally agree that this cake tastes more like bread to me... All these terminology are too confusing :p


    1. Zoe, it wasn't that difficult, I thought it would be especially if it has to to with rolling and shaping.


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