I knew I wanted to make a delicious coffee cake for brunch while our company was here, so I began browsing blogs. I found a blog that I'd never read before, 17 and Baking. Now I began baking from scratch when I was around 18, but I was nowhere near as skilled as Elissa! Not only does she bake very technical pastry, she takes beautiful photographs and is a skilled writer. I practically scrolled through her entire blog in a trance, starring many recipes to make in the future.
When I saw this Lemon Scented Pull Apart Coffee Cake, I was intrigued. It's very clean and fresh in flavor, and though it looks impressive, it's fairly simple to make. There aren't many ingredients and the finished product is really fun!
I followed the directions exactly up until the very end when it came time to make the icing. I was being extremely lazy, and decided to whisk the ingredients in a bowl with a fork rather than use a mixer. It's evident by the tiny bits of cream cheese that didn't whip in the icing. Looking back, I'm mad at myself for not taking the extra few minutes to finish the coffee cake correctly, but I had a quiche in the oven and a few other things I was working on. I know I'll make this again (maybe with a different fruit, add some nuts, etc.) so I'll be sure to make it right.
Lemon Scented Pull Apart Coffee Cake
2 3/4 c. AP Flour (12 1/4 oz)
1/4 c. granulated sugar (1 3/4 oz)
2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast (1 envelope)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. whole milke
2 oz. unsalted butter
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs at room temperature
Lemon Sugar Filling:
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp. finely grated orange zest
2 oz. unsalted butter, melted
Cream Cheese Icing:
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. lemon juice
To make dough:
Mix two cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with a spatula.
In a small saucepan combine milk and butter, heat until butter is just melted.
Add the water, and let it cool until just warm (120-130*), add vanilla extract.
Pour the milk and butter into the flour and mix with the paddle attachment until the flour is moistened, beat in eggs one at a time.
Stop the mixer, add the remaining flour and resume mixing until dough is smooth, about 5 minutes.
Dust a work surface with flour, dump out dough and knead until smooth and no longer sticky, adding flour as necessary, 1-2 tbsp. at a time.
Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic and let it rise until doubled in size, about 60 minutes.
Make lemon sugar filling:
Mix the sugar, lemon zest and orange zest with a fork, set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350*, grease a 9x5 loaf pan.
Deflate the dough, flour a large work surface. Roll the dough to a 20x12 rectangle and smear with 2 tbsp. softened butter. (I rolled mine on a silpat with a ruler on the edges to make sure it was the correct size)
Use a pizza cutter and cut the dough crosswise into 5 strips, 12x4 each.
Sprinkle lemon sugar over the first rectangle, top it with the second, sprinkle with more sugar, and continue until all 5 strips are stacked and layered with sugar.
Slice this stack crosswise through all 5 layers, creating 5 equal rectangles.
Transfer the strips into the loaf pan, cut edges up.
Cover with plastic wrap and rise for 30 minutes.
Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack, cool for 15 minutes.
Make icing: Beat cream cheese in a small bowl, add sugar, milk and lemon juice, beat until creamy and smooth.
Turn loaf out onto a serving dish, smear with icing and serve warm.