A lot of you have been making my Apple Cider Pull-Apart Bread, so I decided to come up with a pumpkin flavored one since we have now moved into November. I use a Pumpkin Caramel recipe from my book, 100 Morning Treats, which is incredible paired with the fluffy, soft bread that’s also fun to eat, pulling apart each delicious slice. The sugar filling for the dough has cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg giving it warm flavor throughout.
Easy Pumpkin Caramel
This caramel topping for the pull-apart bread is easy to make, and there is no thermometer involved!
Most of the ingredients are combined together and cooked on the stovetop, including the pumpkin (which is in the caramel, not the dough). I think this caramel tastes best with a nice splash of bourbon, but if you don’t want to use alcohol you can omit it.
How To Make Pull-Apart Bread:
Although this bread is a little time consuming to make, it is always worth the effort.
- Make the sweet dough. It will have a rise time of 2 hours. It is recommended to chill the dough overnight, but it needs to be chilled for at least 2 hours after it rises.
- Grease and line a 9x4x4 in [23x0x10 cm] Pullman pan with a parchment sling. Lightly flour your work surface, then roll the dough into a 20 by 12 in [50 by 30.5 cm] rectangle with a short edge facing you. With a pastry brush, spread the melted butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough and press it gently into the dough with your hands.
- Using a pastry wheel or pizza cutter, cut the dough crosswise into five strips (about 12 by 4 in [30.5 by 10 cm]) each, then stack the five rectangles on top of each other.
- Slice the stack of rectangles to create six equal strips about 4 by 2 in [10 by 5 cm]. Fit these layered strips into the prepared loaf pan, cut edges up and side by side (it will be tight fit, but it is okay to press them close together). Sprinkle any cinnamon-sugar that didn’t make it in the transfer over the top of the bread.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes; the dough should be about an inch under the top of the pan.
- Bake the bread and when done, remove from oven. Immediately pour caramel over the top.
What can I do to make this recipe ahead?
For overnight Pull-Apart bread:
Assemble the pull-apart bread in the Pullman pan, but do not let it rise at room temperature. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 and up to 18 hours. When ready to bake, preheat the oven, and let the bread sit at room temperature (still covered in plastic) for 45 to minutes to 1 hour. Bake as directed.
Throughout my recipes posted on this website, 1 cup of flour equals 142g. Please note that 1 cup of flour can range anywhere from 120g to 142g, depending on the baker or website. I found that after weighting many cups of flour and averaging the total, mine always ended up around this number. If I am posting a recipe from another cookbook, I will use whatever gram measure of flour used in that book, which is why you may see a few posts with a different cup measurement.
Different brands of flour have varying levels of protein, ranging from low to high, which can result in very different outcomes when baking. I’ve found Gold Medal all-purpose unbleached flour to be the best option for many of my recipes; I use it in all the baked goods that don’t use yeast. For yeasted doughs that call for all-purpose flour, I like to use King Arthur Brand. If you are using White Lily flour, please note that it is a low protein flour and doesn’t absorb liquid the same as regular all-purpose flours. Check the back of the flour bag for instructions on substituting it for regular all-purpose flours.
More Pumpkin Recipes:
Pumpkin Caramel Pull-Apart Bread
- 1/2 cup [120 g] warm milk (100 to 110F [35 to 42C])
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons [444 g] all-purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons [1 stick or 113 g] unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup [150 g] granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- Pinch cloves
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1/2 cup [112 g] unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 6 tablespoons [84 g] unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup [150 g] brown sugar
- 1/4 cup [50 g] granulated sugar
- 3 tablepoons corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 tablespoon bourbon, optional
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the dough
- Grease a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the milk and yeast on low speed. Let sit until the yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes, then add the eggs, honey, granulated sugar, and salt and mix until well combined.
- Add the flour, mixing on low speed until incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the butter, one piece at a time. When all the butter has been added, increase the speed to medium and beat the butter into the dough until all the little butter pieces are incorporated, 1 or 2 minutes more. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl. The dough will be very sticky and you will need a spatula to scrape the dough into the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 30 minutes. Remove the plastic and place your fingers or a spatula underneath the dough to gently pull the dough up and fold it over itself. Give the bowl a quarter turn and fold the dough over again. Repeat six to eight more times, until all the dough has been folded over on itself. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 30 minutes. Repeat this series of folding the dough three more times, every 30 minutes, for a rise time of 2 hours.
- Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.
For the filling
- In a small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
To assemble and bake
- Line a 9 by 4 by 4 in [23 by 10 by 10 cm] Pullman pan with a parchment sling.
- Generously flour your work surface. Roll out the dough into a 12 by 20 in [30.5 by 50 cm] rectangle with a short edge facing you. With a pastry brush, spread the melted butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the filling over the dough evenly and press gently into the butter so it adheres.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut the dough crosswise into five strips about 4 by 12 in [10 by 30.5 cm] each. Stack the five rectangles on top of each other.
- Slice the stack of rectangles crosswise to create six equal strips, about 4 in [10 cm] long and 2 in [5 cm] wide. Fit these layered strips into the prepared loaf pan side by side, cut edges facing up. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes.
For the pumpkin caramel
- While the bread is rising, make the caramel: in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the pumpkin, butter, brown and granulated sugars, corn syrup, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often until the sugars are dissolved. Turn the heat down and simmer until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the bourbon, if using, and vanilla and let cool slightly.
To Assemble and Bake
- Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the to 350F [180C]. Place a sheet pan on a lower rack to catch any drips.
- Pour 1/3 of the pumpkin caramel evenly over the top of the bread right before putting it into the oven. Bake the bread until the top is golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes, or registers 200F [95C] on an instant-read thermometer. Check the bread halfway through baking – if the top is browning too quickly, cover it with a piece of foil.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and immediately pour half of the remaining caramel over the top of the bread, then let sit for 15 minutes. Use the sling to gently remove the loaf from the pan, then drizzle the remaining caramel over the loaf. Let cool slightly before pulling apart and eating. This bread is best eaten the same day it's made, but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.