Pumpkin Praline Pull-Apart Bread
Do these swirls have you hypnotized or WHAT!?
Biggie style, naturally.
The thing about baking is that it requires a TON of patience, and as a New Yorker I have absolutely none. But now that we’re in full-fledged holiday/baking season, I know I need to step up my game. So I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of sweet goodies, and somehow this pumpkin praline pull-apart bread turned out to be exactly the kind of good I like to bake.
It’s dynamic without being too difficult, fun to put together, and tastes absolutely INSANE, which is the most important part.
What I love about this bread is that it’s deceptively fancy, with a presentation that LOOKS super complicated yet a baking method that’s actually fairly simple, so it’s a total win-win. You start by preparing a basic pumpkin bread dough, then let it rise for 30 minutes. The dough is ready when you can press your finger into it and the indentation remains (aka, the dough doesn’t spring back) so this is an easy litmus test to ensure you get things right. Once the dough has risen you roll it out into a giant flat sheet, and when I say giant, I mean GIANT. Mine was nearly 24″ x 16″ when rolled-out, so be sure you clear lots of counter space.
When ready, coat the rolled-out dough in a layer of pumpkin butter, then evenly sprinkle with a mixture of brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon. And once that’s finished? Then we start to have some fun.
Slowly but surely roll the dough into a tight, fat log, then slice with a pizza cutter to create rounds reminiscent of cinnamon rolls. Nestle your rounds into a greased loaf pan in alternating directions to create a braided, woven effect — SO PRETTY — then bake! 30 minutes later and your kitchen smells like a damn bakery.
On its own this bread is admittedly bomb as hell — It’s like a marriage between pumpkin bread and cinnamon rolls, with lots of doughy folds, gooey insides, and tons of fall flavor. But when you add in a praline glaze + crushed candied pecans on top?
The glaze itself comes together in just a few minutes — sugars, butter, & milk, so simple! — and once it’s ready slather it all over your bread and watch the magic happen. The crushed candied pecans are definitely optional, but I love the crispy crunch they add, so why not?! They perfectly match the praline glaze’s nutty, sweet flavor (sorta like toffee, but better!) so there’s no reason not to double down on them.
And as I’m sure you suspected, this is perfect for Thanksgiving! You can bake the bread a day beforehand, then prep the praline glaze to serve.
It’ll be a showstopper, trust me.
Pumpkin Praline Pull-Apart Bread
- PUMPKIN BREAD:
- 3/4 cup skim milk (I used 2%)
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 2 tbsps granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 packet instant yeast (should be 2 tsps worth)
- 3 cups + 2 tbsps all-purpose flour, sifted + more for rolling
- another 2 tbsps salted butter, melted
- Crisco to grease
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup pumpkin butter
- 3 tbsps brown sugar
- 3 tbsps granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- PRALINE GLAZE:
- 2 tbsps salted butter
- 2 tbsps brown sugar
- 2 tbsps granulated sugar
- 2 tbsps skim milk (+ more if needed)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- crushed candied pecans for servings
- Begin by preparing the dough. In a small saucepan warm the milk over a low flame, then add in the butter to melt, stirring occasionally. Once melted, transfer to large mixing bowl and add the sugar and salt. Let this mixture cool slightly, then add the eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin puree, whisking until smooth. Lastly incorporate the yeast and flour, stirring until the dough takes shape. Knead the dough inside the mixing bowl for several minutes, then cover bowl with saran wrap and allow dough to rise until approximately double in size, about 30 minutes. The dough is ready when you can press your finger into it and the indentation remains.
- Once the dough has risen, turn the dough ball onto a heavily floured work surface. Using a rolling pin roll out the dough into an evenly thin sheet — It will be very large, don’t worry! Next, use a pastry brush to coat the dough with pumpkin butter. If your pumpkin butter needs to be softened in the microwave for 10 – 20 seconds for easy spreading, do this. Lastly, in a small dish combine the brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon, then evenly sprinkle over the dough’s surface.
- When ready, roll the dough into a tight, fat log. Take your time here, and don’t worry if the ends aren’t entirely even — You can discard them later. Once rolled, use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into even-sized rounds.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F. Amply grease a 8″ x 4″ or 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with Crisco.
- Transfer the sliced rounds to the greased loaf pan, arranging them in opposite directions to create a woven look. I was able to squeeze about 90% of my dough into a single pan, then discarded the rest — If you’d like to make two smaller loafs to utilize all the dough, you can do that as well. Brush the top of the dough with the 2 tbsps melted butter, then bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the bread is browned and cooked through (if you’re doing two small loaves, start checking at the 20 minute mark). Remove from oven and cool for ten minutes.
- While the bread cools, prepare the praline sauce. In small saucepan bring the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and milk to a boil over a medium flame. Keep at a rolling boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Next, remove saucepan from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar until the glaze takes shape — At this stage you can add an additional splash or two of milk if the glaze appears too thick. Return pan to stovetop and keep warm over a low flame, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t seize up.
- Remove the bread from the loaf pan, then amply drizzle with the praline sauce. Top with crushed pecans, then immediately plate and serve.