Lemon Blueberry Pull Apart Bread

Remember last week when I briefly told you about the celebration we had for the scholars from Rwanda complete with vanilla bean confetti cookies and toffee bit cookies with chocolate drizzle?

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What I didn’t tell you was that we also had a variety of berries to up the health factor just a little. One of the scholars is obsessed with blueberries. I mean, he was seriously popping them into his mouth like they were candy. It’s entirely possible that he ate more blueberries than anything else!

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I had some blueberries at home so I decided to put them to good use, combine them with my favourite lemon zest, sugar and dough and made this lemon blueberry pull-apart bread.

I think it was a pretty good decision.

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I went and picked blueberries on Sunday with a couple of friends of mine so there is a good chance more good blueberry decisions will be making an appearance here soon. Between the three of us we picked 9 pints in maybe 20 minutes. There were so many delicious blueberries in clusters just begging to be picked (and eaten, because you’ve got to do a little quality control 😉).

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We’ve got a delicious fluffy sweet dough, a little melted butter, lemon zest infused sugar, and some juicy, juicy blueberries. It’s a summer bread you’ll want to eat and it pulls apart so it’s perfect for bringing to a potluck or summer picnic!

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Lemon Blueberry Pull Apart Bread

Yield: 1 loaf pull-apart bread

Ingredients

    For the dough:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 oz. unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    For the filling:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 4 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 2 oz. butter, melted

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 1/4 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together eggs and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has melted. Remove from heat and add water and vanilla extract. Let the mixture stand for a minute or two, or until it registers 115-125°F.
  4. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter. The eggs will feel soupy and it’ll seem like the dough and the eggs are never going to come together. Keep stirring. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be sticky.
  5. Place the dough is a large, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. *The dough can be risen until doubled in size, then refrigerated overnight for use in the morning. If you’re using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before following the roll-out directions below.
  6. While the dough is rising, Combine the sugar and lemon zest. By the time you're ready to use it, it should have a sand-like consistency. Grease a loaf pan and set it aside.
  7. Deflate the risen dough and knead about 2 tablespoons of flour into the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out. The dough should be 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long. If you can’t get the dough to 20-inches long… that’s okay. Just roll it as large as the dough will go. Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough. Sprinkle the lemon sugar over the dough. It will look like a lot, just go with it. I'll give you all the lemon flavour you want!
  8. Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips. Stack the strips on top of one another, sprinkling blueberries in between each layer and slice the stack into six equal slices once again. You’ll have six stacks of six squares. Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book. {I had a few too many slices to fit in my pan, so I just squished it in, creating a slightly wavy bread.} Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
  9. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown. The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw. A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto a clean board. Place a cake stand or cake plate on top of the upside down loaf, and carefully invert so it’s right side up. Serve warm with coffee or tea.

Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

http://www.bryonycooks.com/lemon-blueberry-pull-apart-bread/

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