Nothing is quite as magical as a bit of yeast, some flour and some sugar.
The possibilities are endless, every one more delicious than the last. It is the added bit of patience and focus these recipes require that yields such STUNNING pay offs. Today, let’s make some adorable little pull apart breads (the Beyonce of yeasted and sugar-y bread creations).
The original inspiration comes from the amazing, and one of my all time favorite food bloggers, Joy Wilson of Joy the Baker. Her pull apart bread is probably one of the most delicious things you can make in your kitchen. However, it is not at all vegan, so I turned to Naturally Ella for the basic vegan inspiration. I added my own twist of cardamom, one of my favorite sweet spices. Cardamom has a unique flavor that pairs extremely well with soft and fluffy dough. Bonus: the cardamom and sugar mixture is ridiculously stylish. It’s a warm gray color that looks like it belongs in the pages of Vogue. Just saying.
The process of making these is simple, and just involved enough that it’s a perfect morning project. We begin with warm almond milk and yeast that transforms into a soft and stretchy dough. I begin my dough in the stand mixer with a dough hook and then transfer it to the counter to knead by hand. Just my personal preference, feel free to leave it in the mixer for the whole time if you’d rather. Once kneaded, the dough rises for about 90 minutes, until doubled in size. Then, plop, onto the floured countertop it goes.
The dough is rolled into a large rectangle (or weird oval shaped thing, it’s all good).
It’s then brushed with melted coconut oil and sprinkled with a generous amount of cardamom and sugar. I usually end up just using my hands to rub in the sugar, making sure to get it to the very edge of the dough. We wouldn’t want a bite without any sugar, right? Right??
Then, slice the dough into six long strips, about equal in size.
Stack ‘em up, making sure to keep all the sugar-y goodness within the layers. Once stacked, I cut mine into 8 equal portions. This resulted in VERY puffy and large pull-aparts which isn't a bad thing, but it could have easily made 10 if you’d prefer.
Place one stack, one its side, in each of the well-greased muffins cups and let rise again. The amount of air risen into these is ridiculous and amazing.
Then they go right into a hot oven and bake for what feels like an absolute eternity. Once they’re out of the oven, please eat them right away. Please. Yes, they’re good hours later or even the next morning warmed up, but nothing compares to the texture straight from the oven.
The top corners are crispy and golden. Pulling them apart (wow, what a creative name) reveals impossibly soft, sweet and spiced layers that are just stretchy enough. The bottom is caramelized heaven.
The smell of cardamom is deliciously overpowering, especially paired with the melted sugar and soft yeasted dough. For a treat that takes hours of patience and waiting, they are gone incredibly fast.
Mini Cardamom Pull-Aparts (adapted from Naturally Ella)
0.75 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other unsweetened non dairy milk)
2.25 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons peanut oil
0.5 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flax seeds, ground
6 tablespoons water
1 cup whole wheat flour
0.75 to 1 cup all purpose four
1.5 tablespoons melted coconut oil
0.5 cups sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons ground cardamom
1. Combine flax seeds and water, set aside.
2. In a small saucepan over low heat, slightly warm almond milk just to remove chill.
3. Add almond milk to the bowl of a stand mixer along with yeast and maple syrup. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until yeast is bubbly and activated. Add oil, salt, flax mixture and whole wheat flour. Mix well with a spatula and then begin to mix with a dough hook.
4. While mixer is going, add white flour, 0.25 cup at a time. You want the dough to be soft, and not too sticky, so that it pulls away from the side of the bowl. Once combined, continue kneading for 5-8 minutes, either in the mixer or by hand on the counter.
5. Once kneaded, form into a smooth ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean towel and let sit for 90 minutes, until about doubled in size. While the dough rises, combine the sugar and ground cardamom.
6. Remove dough from bowl onto a floured counter. Roll into a large rectangle, about 20 by 15 inches. Brush on melted coconut oil and sprinkle with sugar and cardamom. Make sure to get the sugar mixture all the way to the edge of the dough.
7. Cut the dough into 6 equal strips and stack. Cut the stack into 8 to 10 equal pieces. Place each stack in a well greased muffin tin. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once hot, bake pull-aparts for 20 to 25 minutes, until edges are deep golden brown and the inside is firm yet still slightly sof, to the touch.
9. Remove from pan and enjoy warm.
These really do make the perfect breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up. They pair nicely with different sweet spices and can also be baked in a loaf pan for a more traditional pull-apart bread. Let me know how yours come out! Tag me on Instagram with #thesweetestbeet, like it on Facebook or re-pin it on Pinterest.