Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Apple Coffee Cake

I love brioche.

I wish all bread could have loads of eggs, butter and honey in it.

And maybe pumpkin, cream cheese, sugar and apple slices.

And a layer of streusel topping.

The person that invented streusel topping was a genius!

I mean, it's one of those no-brainers, why didn't I think of that, I love all those things and together they make me want to cry for joy while eating the entire bowl, kind of ideas.

Butter, flour, brown and white sugars, and cinnamon.  How can you go wrong?

This is the combination of three different recipes, but only the best parts of each.  It looks like a lot of work but it's totally worth it.  Trust me.

NOTE:  This dough is EXTREMELY wet.  Most of the dough recipes from this book are.  So, while making this coffee cake you should fully expect to cover all the surfaces in your kitchen with flour, and your hands and all utensils within reach with sticky dough.  It's all part of the fun.  Or at least that's what I tell myself to keep from going crazy.  It really IS worth it.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese filling
From Nestle's Best Ever Cookies
1 cup solid packed pumpkin
3 oz cream cheese softened
2 T. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 medium apple, peeled and thinly sliced.

BEAT cream cheese, pumpkin, cinnamon and sugar in the bowl of mixer until thoroughly combined and smooth.  Set aside.

Streusel Topping
From Baking Illustrated
1/6 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 T. granulated sugar
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
2 1/2 T. unsalted cold butter cut into 6 pieces

COMBINE all dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Add butter pieces and toss to coat, then using a pastry blender cut in butter to make coarse crumbs.  Chill thoroughly before using.

Stop freaking out over the directions, let's remind ourselves how good brioche coffee cake is, here take a bite of mine.

Brioche dough
From Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day (makes 4 one pound loaves)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 T. granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 T. Kosher salt
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
3 sticks unsalted butter, melted
8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

PREPARE pumpkin filling(recipe to follow).  Slice apple and toss with a sprinkling of granulated sugar and cinnamon.  Set each aside.

MIX all ingredients together except for flour in a large lidded but NOT air tight bowl (5-quart bowl so it allows for the dough to rise). Mix in the flour without kneading using a spoon or sturdy spatula.  The dough will be loose (extremely wet) but will firm up when chilled; don't try to work with it before chilling. (You may notice lumps in the dough but they will disappear in the finished products.)

COVER (but not air-tight) and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

REFRIGERATE in lidded (but not air-tight) container and use over the next 5 days.  Beyond 5 days freeze the dough in 1-pound portions wrapped in a layer of plastic, thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using, then allow the usual rest and rise times.

On BAKING day, liberally dust surface of dough and cut off a 1-pound portion (about the size of a cantaloupe).  Roll dough into rectangle shape 1/8 inch thickness on a liberally floured surface (this dough a extremely wet which allows it to stay fresh for 5 days in the fridge).

Spread 3/4 of the filling down the middle 1/3 of the rectangular dough.  Cut 1-inch wide strips down each side, using a pizza cutter.  Fold the strips, left over right, crisscrossing over the filling, creating a braid.  Cover the top of the braid with remaining pumpkin mixture.  Allow braid to rest for 40 minutes.

PREPARE streusel topping while preheating oven to 375 degrees F and allowing braid to rest.  Sprinkle topping over pumpkin on top of braid.  Place on cookie sheet in the center of the oven and BAKE for 35 to 40 minutes.  Place on wire rack to cool slightly; serve warm.

Go ahead and ask me to marry you, I know you'll want to.

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