Thursday, 22 May 2014

Lemon Pull Apart Bread

I left one miserable lemon in the fridge and I wanted to clear it off.  So happened that I spotted Bake Along theme, Lemon Pull Apart Bread.  Wonderful, I can clear away my cream cheese too.

I have missed a few events from Bake Along so I am happy to be able to join in the fun this month.

Putting the ingredients together is easy but the assembly part was tough.  The dough was very sticky even after proofing. Despite me adding 3 tbsp of additional flour to it, I still have a hard time forming it into a manageable dough.

Due to the stickiness, I had also had difficulty getting the 20"X20".  In the end, I decided just to stack everything together, cut into 4 sections and baked it in the ramekin as what Baking for Happy Kids had done but mine was a far cry from hers. 

I already can foreseen an ugly bread churned out because I was fumbling all the way.  Now it has proven .... my ugly Lemon Pull Apart Bread.  haiz.

Verdict: Texture is okay when freshly baked.  Just needed to reheat it in the microwave oven and it is still good.  My girl didn't like the cream cheese icing though.  

Source: Baking for all Occasions by Flo Braker and I adapted it from Bake for Happy Kids as she attempted only half of the recipe.

What you need:

205g bread flour (set aside ¼ cup from this)
25g castor sugar
4g instant yeast
¼ tsp salt

1/3 cup whole milk
30g unsalted butter (soft at room temperature)
¼ cup water
1¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 large eggs, at room temperature

For the citrus filling:

20g castor sugar
3 tbsp finely grated lemon zest (1 lemon)
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest (1 orange)
30g unsalted butter, melted

For the cream cheese icing:

40g Cream cheese
20g icing sugar
½ tbsp milk
½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

To 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 warm [49 to 54°C]), about 1 min.

Add the vanilla extract.

Pour the milk mixture over the flour-yeast mixture and, using a K beater, bring everything into together at low speed.

With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing just until incorporated after each addition.

Stop the mixer, add ¼ cup flour, and resume mixing on low speed until the dough is smooth, 30 to 45 secs.

Add 2 more tbsp flour and mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth, soft, and slightly sticky, about 45 seconds.

Sprinkle a work surface with 1 tbsp 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 tbsp 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 (about 70°F [21°C]) until doubled in size, 45 to 60 mins.

Press the dough gently with a fingertip. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready for the next step.

Instead of using the electric mixer, I have placed all dough ingredients, adding the butter and yeast last in my bread maker. Then, I used the "dough” setting to knead the dough for 30 mins and allow it to prove for 1 hr. Please note that dough will be sticky but will prove to become a smooth and stable workable dough.

To 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.)

To assemble:

Adjust the oven rack to the center position. 

Lightly butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan or 4 ramekins for half amount of the recipe.

Gently deflate the dough. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 20 by 12 inch rectangle.  Allow dough to rest for 10 mins and roll it out to 20 x 18 cm).  Using a pastry brush, spread the melted butter (or oil) generously over the dough.

Cut the dough crosswise into strips, yielding 5 strips, each about 12 by 4 inches (four 5 x 18 cm). 

Sprinkle 1½ tbsp of the zest-sugar mixture over a buttered (or oiled) rectangle. Top with a second rectangle and sprinkle it with 1½  tbsp 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 (70 °F [21°C]) until puffy and almost doubled in size, 30 to 50 mins.

Press the dough gently with a fingertip. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready for baking. 

Preheat the oven to 175°C or 160°C fan forced.

Bake the coffee cake until the top is golden brown, 30 to 35 mins.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 mins. I removed mine immediately and allow them to cool on wire rack to cool completely.

To 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.

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. 

Cover and refrigerate the leftover icing for another use or eat the cake with extra icing! It will keep for up to 2 days.

Serve the coffee cake warm or at room temperature (or inside the ramekins).

To serve, you can pull apart the layers, or you can cut the cake into 1-inch-thick slices on a slight diagonal with a long, serrated knife. If you decide to cut the cake, don’t attempt to cut it until it is almost completely cool.

I'm linking this post to Bake Along #61 hosted by


  1. hahaha.. i think that miserable lemon is not miserable now that you turned it into something so yummy!

    1. Thanks Vic for the encouragement.

  2. The icing and filling sound very tempting!

    1. Yes I did like the icing but not for my girl.

  3. Hi Edith,
    So glad that you could join us once again!
    I don't think that your bread is ugly. We love eating this bread especially with the lemony cream cheese icing.
    The dough was a little sticky at first, but it was alright after the first proofing. The messy part for me was the stacking of the dough!
    Thank you for baking along with us.
    Wish you a lovely weekend ahead!

    1. Yes I was glad that I can do it this round. Been really crazy lately.

  4. Sticky dough always a little difficult to manage but after proofing, it wasnt that bad. It is okay, edith. I like the cream cheese icing a lot and love the filling even more :) Thx for your participation and hv a nice week ahead!

    1. Lena, mine didn't turn out as like yours. It was a mess. In fact I had to refrain myself from adding more flour to make it manageable.

  5. Hi Edith,

    I agree with Victoria. You have done a great job transforming a "miserable lemon" to something delicious. Looks are only perceptional :D


    1. Thanks for encouragement Zoe. Ya my hubby also said that. hehehe


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