Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread

One week from Memorial Day means this cheesy goodness ↓

A close-up shot of easy, five-ingredient Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread.

And this cheesy goodness goes by no other name than (somewhat obvious): Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread! I’ve been wanting to make this perfect cookout accompaniment for quite some time now, and I figured what better time to do so than for the holiday weekend that basically kicks off summer!


And I’m not stopping there. That’s right, this week I’ll be bringing you all kinds of fun BBQ-friendly dishes to get you loaded up with recipes before the hubs and I skip town and head up to Tahoe for a much needed getaway with a few of our close friends. My hubby’s birthday happens to be on Memorial Day this year so we thought, what better way to celebrate than at one of our favorite places with some of our favorite people? We’re keeping it fairly low-key, though, with a spa day penciled in and surely lots of time just relaxing around the house and catching up! I hear there may still even be snow there, which would be pretty cool.

Sorry, just a little digression, because what I’m really here to talk about is this Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread. I’m very happy to report that it turned out just every bit as good as I had imagined. And it’s so easy! We’re talking about FIVE ingredients and FIVE minutes on a high heat grill (or under the broiler.) That’s it!

Looking down on a delicious loaf of ooey-gooey Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread.

Of course, if you wanted to be really adventurous, you could whip up your own BBQ from scratch, but if your household is anything like ours, you probably have at least a bottle or two of your favorite premade stuff hanging around your pantry or refrigerator.

I was lucky to have some of the Sweet ‘n Spicy BBQ Sauce from Montana Mex on hand (thanks, Eduardo!) and decided to give it a spin for this recipe. If you haven’t heard of Montana Mex or Chef Eduardo Garcia, it’s about time you did. (Sorry, just another little digression and, no, this is not sponsored! I truly was just incredibly impressed by Eduardo’s story so I wanted to share it here.)

Every year, Chris and I are lucky enough to attend some of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s events through his company’s sponsorship connections. When we heard we’d be getting tickets to the opening film this year and what the film was about, I have to admit I was a LOT more excited than I had been for the films being screened in previous years.

Charged is a film about Chef Eduardo Garcia’s survival and inspiring recovery from being charged with 2400 volts of electricity while out hiking in the woods one afternoon. Although not for the faint of heart, the film is full of Eduardo’s unwavering positivity in the face of adversity and perseverance through some very challenging obstacles.

We were lucky enough to get to chat with him after the film, and I was honored when he offered to send me a box of his company’s products. Chef Eduardo founded Montana Mex after he became frustrated with so many of the Mexican food products available here in the United States that were laden with chemicals and preservatives. So he and his business partner set out to make a line of Mexican-inspired condiments without all of the gunky stuff. Which you know is right up my alley!

A close-up shot of gooey and delicious Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread.

Charged won’t be released to the general public until September (at which time you most definitely need to go see it), but if you come across any film festivals that might be airing it before then, GO! If you like inspiring stories, survival and food, you will not be disappointed.

Eek, ok! Let’s get to this Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread. Good thing it’s so easy to make because I have been rambling for far too long already and I’m sure we all have more important things to be doing on a Monday morning.

So here’s what we do: We start with a huge loaf of fresh, crusty bread. A pain rustique or ciabatta (something with lots of little air pockets in the dough) would be ideal here. We want lots of nooks and crannies for all of the butter, garlic and BBQ sauce to ooze into.

The beginning stages of making Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread - slather on butter, BBQ sauce and fresh garlic!

We slice the bread long-ways for maximum surface area, then start slathering on the good stuff – first butter, the BBQ sauce and garlic, then cheese. Because this BBQ garlic bread is CHEESY.

The second step to make Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread - slather it with cheese!

Throw the loaf halves onto the grill (if you have space to spare) or pop them under the broiler and you’ll have delicious Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread in as little as five minutes. If that’s not the perfect cookout side dish, I don’t know what is!

Another close-up of this ooey-gooey delicious Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread!

A close-up shot of easy, five-ingredient Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread.
Print
Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

Not your average garlic bread! This version is loaded with zesty BBQ sauce and smothered in melted cheese, the perfect BBQ side dish!

Course: Side Dish
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf fairly flat, crusty bread (such as ciabatta or pain rustique,) sliced in half lengthwise
  • 4-6 tablespoons melted butter (depending on how large your loaf of bread is, mine was pretty big)
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups shredded Asiago cheese (or Parmesan, or your favorite cheesy bread cheese!)
Instructions
  1. Place halves of bread cut side up on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. If using the grill, turn it on high and let it begin warming up. If using the broiler, turn it on high to preheat.

  2. Spread melted butter evenly onto loaf halves, then do the same with the BBQ sauce.

  3. Sprinkle on the minced garlic and then cover the loaf halves evenly with the shredded cheese. 

  4. If using the grill, place the bread (topping side up) directly onto the grates. If using the broiler, keep the bread on the baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbling and edges of bread are browned. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread | CaliGirlCooking.com

Hot Cross Buns

Buns for dayzzzzzz.

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

I told you this week was going to be all about the Easter prep, and today I’m definitely not going to disappoint with these Hot Cross Buns. This is yet another family recipe that I’ve successfully transcribed from my Dad’s improvisational ways, and let me tell you, I’m so glad I’ll now have this recipe in my back pocket whenever springtime rolls around.


I’m not really an expert on Hot Cross Buns, except for the fact that they’re incredibly hard to find good store- or bakery-bought versions of. When I lived at home (or would come home to visit for Easter when I lived away) we went through way too many years wasting our time trying to find “just the right” version at one of our local bakeries or grocery stores. Problem was, they were never as good as we imagined, or as we imagined we could make them. Leave it to my Dad to solve that problem, and solve it he did.

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

What I love about Hot Cross Buns is that there are so many iterations of them. You can spice the dough (as I do in this recipe) or leave it really basic and buttery. You can add in the classic fruit cake mix to liven things up a bit, or you can leave it simpler with raisins studding the dough, or nothing at all. For the icing, you can tint it the classic yellow hue with food coloring or simply allow the sweet topping to take on whatever natural color it gets from your icing ingredients. Long story short, just about any person out there can find a Hot Cross Bun recipe that they want to make over and over again, year after year.

For my own sake, I hope you find this recipe for Hot Cross Buns so enjoyable that they become an annual tradition in your household. After all, there’s nothing like a warm, buttery, icing-topped carb-bomb to start your Easter morning off right 😉

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

In fact, I may need to pack a few of these in Ziplocs for our ride to the airport on Sunday. If we can’t have our usual Easter meals and festivities due to travel, we might as well get our Easter treats in wherever we can!

I’m not going to sugar-coat it (haha, you see what I did there?) but these buns do take a little bit of time to make, definitely not for their difficulty level, but simply because they go through the standard double rise you do with most yeast breads. That being said, a little bit of planning goes a long way, and I can guarantee that once you practice the recipe one time through, it will get easier and easier every time.

I speak from experience since I had a little blonde moment the first time I made these and forgot to add the butter to the dough. Good news was, the Hot Cross Buns turned out to be gorgeous-looking. Bad news was, they were suuuuppper dry and didn’t taste nearly as good as they looked. And because I hate wasting any food, I simply proceeded to load up that first batch of Hot Cross Buns with butter every time I wanted to eat one, and I probably ended up consuming way more butter than I would have if I had just included in the recipe in the first place. Hey, we all learn from our silly mistakes!

I’m happy to report that no silly mistakes were made the second time I gave this recipe a whirl, and I was able to whip up perfectly composed Hot Cross Buns in almost no time flat.

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

What I love about these Hot Cross Buns is that, once you get through the whole double rise process, you bake them off and they’re ready to devour in just 15 minutes (well, 25 minutes if you allow time to cool and frost them.) That means that you don’t have to wait too long to enjoy after their magnificent smell starts wafting through the house!

Although I personally didn’t try it, I’d bet you could easily adapt this recipe to make the second rise an overnight one. That way, all you need to do in the morning before breakfast is pull the buns out of the refrigerator, give them their little crosses and egg wash, and pop them in the oven. I may try this the next time I give these a whirl (undoubtedly in the very near future) but if you try it in the meantime, let me know how it goes!

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m signing off to go get myself a bit more organized for our trip, but Happy Humpday! You deserve to celebrate with some Hot Cross Buns 🙂

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Hot Cross Buns
Prep Time
2 hr 10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
2 hr 25 mins
 

A family recipe for this classic springtime baked good - a buttery dough studded with plump raisins, topped with the perfect touch of icing.

Course: Breakfast
Servings: 1 dozen
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the buns:
  • 1 packet active-dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed to "bathtub temperature" (I heated mine up for 30 seconds in the microwave and it turned out perfect)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/3 cups flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup raisins (or fruit cake mix, if you prefer)
  • 1 egg white
For the icing:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Combine the yeast and warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and let sit for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.

  2. Add sugar, eggs, butter and salt to the yeast mixture and beat to combine. You may want to use a whisk for a few seconds to break up the egg yolks since the dough hook doesn’t do a great job of it.

  3. In a small mixing bowl, sift together 1 cup of the flour and the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add this to the mixture in the stand mixer along with the raisins and beat on medium-low until flour is well-incorporated.

  4. Scrape down the sides of the stand mixer and add additional 1 1/3 cups flour. Once again turn the mixer on medium-low and mix until a sticky dough forms. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with a damp hand towel, and place in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size. 

  5. Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. You may also need to coat your hands with a bit of flour to keep the dough from sticking to them. Cover the dough once it’s turned out and let it rest for 10 minutes.

  6. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, cover and let rise for another hour.

  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using kitchen shears, cut a cross in the center of each bun, then brush with egg white. Place in oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the tops of the buns have turned golden and bread sounds fairly hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and let cool.

  8. While buns are cooling, prepare the icing. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the icing ingredients. Transfer to a piping bag (or Ziploc) and then snip off the tip. Using the crosses you cut into your buns before baking as a guide, make a cross on each bun. Enjoy as soon as possible!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese

I promised to balance out all that healthy stuff I brought you on Monday, didn’t I?

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

Well, let me tell you, this Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese truly delivers. We are, after all, in the season of comfort food (and Super Bowl Sunday!) so there’s no time like the present to indulge just a little bit. Plus, we’ve got to bake allllll of the things before the weather once again gets too warm for us to even think about turning on the oven.


As I was dreaming up this recipe, I originally thought I’d just make my loaded cornbread in a classic glass baking dish and serve it up in thick, hearty squares. But then, as I was putting away dishes and reorganizing all of my pots and pans, my eyes fell upon my extremely neglected cast iron skillet and I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to give it some lovin’.

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

The last time I used my trusty Lodge cast iron skillet for a recipe on this site was way back in April of last year, when I brought you this incredibly delicious (and still a reader favorite) Greek Skillet. It turned out so well, and has continued to serve me well in times of easy, healthy dinner needs, that I’m not sure what has taken me so long to break the skillet out again and put it to good use. Now that I’ve done it, I’m eager to start trying even more cast iron skillet recipes in the very near future…Do you have any suggestions of recipes I should try??

Not only is this Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese incredibly decadent and drool-worthy, it’s also soooo easy to make. Yes, the batter is made from scratch, but I kid you not when I say it comes together in less than 15 minutes flat. With only 20 minutes of baking time, the cornbread would be a welcome addition to an easy weeknight dinner. I’m thinking it would be the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of Warming Minestrone Soup or a big Winter Kale Salad.

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

Oh, and did I mention we grease the pan with bacon fat? I know, I know, it sounds indulgent, but I’m really just jumping on the “no waste” cooking trend that’s predicted to be a huge trend in the world of food in 2017. I don’t know about you, but the hubs and I have a huge Mason jar full of bacon grease leftover from our weekend breakfasts, and prefer to put it to tasty use as opposed to having to discard of it in an old tomato sauce can. That being said, if it sounds just a bit TOO indulgent for you, you could always use butter (just know that you’ll be missing out on some delicious bacon-y flavor in this already indulgent dish!)

The only prep that you’ll need to do in preparation for this deliciousness is to cook up some Italian sausage, grate some cheddar cheese and slice some green onions. Once that’s all done, the batter will come together in no time flat, while your cast iron skillet is busy warming up (and getting seasoned with bacon grease) in the preheating oven.

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

If you’re looking for an easy dish that will “wow” your guests for Super Bowl Sunday, this Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese is your answer. It might as well be deemed a “meal” with all of that protein from the sausage and cheese, and there’s even some “green stuff” hanging out in there. I might also add that it’s incredibly tasty with a little drizzle of honey over top, or if you REALLY want to be indulgent, slather on some creamy, high-quality butter.

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

So now you have a healthy dish and this indulgent dish for your football-noshing pleasure this weekend. How about on Friday I bring you a cocktail??

Happy humpday friends!

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Cornbread gets a delicious makeover when it's loaded with sausage, green onions and shredded cheddar cheese and cooked in a seasoned cast iron skillet.

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 8 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 6-7 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (about 2 links)
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large green onion, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place bacon grease in a 12-inch cast iron skillet and place in oven as it is preheating. 

  2. In a small nonstick skillet, brown the sausage, then set aside. 

  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. 

  4. Add the buttermilk, eggs and butter to the same mixing bowl and whisk until combined. 

  5. Stir in the cooked sausage, green onions and cheddar cheese. 

  6. Using potholder, remove the cast iron skillet from the oven. Pour in the batter and then return to the oven for 20 minutes. Remove when a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving.

Recipe Notes

This recipe should also work fine if you only have a 9-inch cast iron skillet. The bread will turn out a little thicker, so you will probably need to increase the baking time 5-10 minutes.

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka

A classic Thanksgiving dish – reinvented!

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m not lying when I say I have literally been dreaming of this dish since Thanksgiving of last year. It came to me a bit too late in the game to make it happen for 2015, but you can bet I’ve kept it at the top of my list for Thanksgiving 2016. Ladies and gents, today we’re talking about sweet potato casserole – in babka form!


We all know that (thanks to my dad) I’ve been experimenting a bit with different cinnamon roll flavors. I made these Pumpkin Praline Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting for the #virtualpumpkinparty last month, and I have to admit the results boosted my confidence in making goody-filled yeast breads. I also stumbled upon this great base recipe for Sweet Potato PIE Babka from A Brown Table. I knew it would serve as a great starting point for me, with just a few of my own twists. My dreams of making a Sweet Potato Casserole Babka finally seemed within reach!

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

So let’s talk about these ingredients. They’re literally EVERYTHING you would find in the classic sweet potato casserole. We’re talking sweet potatoes (duh), pecans, brown sugar, even marshmallow fluff. Pureed sweet potatoes are both kneaded into the dough and mixed with brown sugar and almond flour as part of the sweet, gooey, crunchy filling.

The pecans and marshmallow fluff are also key players in the filling, and give the bread the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

As if that weren’t enough, we sprinkle another healthy dose of brown sugar on top of the bread right before baking, which will melt into the most delicious sweet, crackly topping, the proverbial “icing on the cake.”

Now, I’m going to be completely upfront and honest that this Sweet Potato Casserole Babka is NOT a quick and easy recipe. It takes some time, but with careful planning you can totally do it. I believe in you! It’s also worth pointing out that I can almost 100% guarantee that your dough will not turn out perfectly – the filling in mine was oozing out of every possible seam and I was barely able to get it into the loaf pan in one piece.

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

But have patience my friends. This recipe is very forgiving and, in some ways, the messier, the better. The more of that marshmallow fluff-brown sugar-sweet potato-pecan filling that seeps out of the sides, the more delicious, sweet, crunchiness you’ll have in every single bite of your Sweet Potato Babka Casserole. Have no fear if it gets a little messy, it will all turn out in the end.

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

I also love that this recipe yields two loaves. The hubs and I dug right into the first loaf, and were not shy about spreading a hefty glob of Copycat Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cream Cheese over each slice. We popped the other loaf right into the freezer, and plan on sharing it with our family over the holiday weekend. Gotta love freezer-friendly baked goods when the crazy holiday season rolls around!

I’m going to keep it fairly short and sweet today. I have some packing and organizing to do in preparation for a quick little jaunt I’m taking to Napa over the next couple of days. Be sure to follow along on Instagram stories for all of our fun adventures.

And be sure to plan to have this Sweet Potato Casserole Babka ready for breakfast, lunch or dinner over Thanksgiving weekend!

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | 22 Totally Achievable Thanksgiving Recipes on CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Sweet Potato Casserole Babka

All of the flavors from the classic Thanksgiving side dish come together in this delicious yeast bread recipe - marshmallow, brown sugar and pecans galore!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 loaves
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sweet potato puree (divided) Roast about 2 sweet potatoes in a 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes (until soft) then peel off skin and puree in food processor.
  • 1 egg yolk at room temperature
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt divided
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk at 110 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans toasted
  • 7 ounce jar marshmallow fluff
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup of the sweet potato puree, the white of one of the eggs, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla, almond flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Use an immersion blender to mix well. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

  2. In another medium bowl, combine the two egg yolks, the other cup of the sweet potato puree, another 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and milk. Whisk until well blended and set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 3 cups of flour, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and yeast.  Add milk/sweet potato mixture and mix at medium speed using dough hook, about 3 minutes. Slowly add in the butter, a little at a time, while the dough hook is still going. Stop once the dough seems fairly well combined, of not a little sticky.

  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and slowly add more flour until you can easily form it into a ball.

  5. Place dough in a medium mixing bowl coated with cooking spray. Spray the top of the dough as well. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.

  6. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. After just 5 minutes of preheating, turn off the oven and place the covered bowl with the dough in it inside. Let rise in oven for one hour. After one hour, remove the bowl from the oven and continue to let rise for another hour.

  7. Divide the risen dough into two pieces. Roll the first piece into a 10" x 18" rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Use more flour as needed (practicing some restraint) in order to be able to roll the dough out with a rolling pin without it sticking. 

  8. Spread 1/2 of the marshmallow fluff all over the rectangle, like you would spread tomato sauce on a pizza. Next, spread on half of the sweet potato spread you had chilling in the refrigerator (save for a couple of tablespoons,) and then sprinkle on half of the chopped pecans.

  9. Starting at the short end of the rectangle, roll the dough into a cylinder, much like you would for cinnamon rolls. Pinch the seams of the dough together as much as possible. 

  10. Spread the couple of tablespoons of sweet potato spread that you saved over the top of the cylinder. Then, gently pull up the sides and pinch together at the top of the cylinder, to encase this additional filling. This is where it might get messy, but that's okay.

  11. Cut the cylinder in half vertically, then gently braid the two smaller cylinders together. Place in a 9x5-inch loaf pan coated liberally with cooking spray.

  12. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then repeat the entire process with the other half of the dough.

  13. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon of water to make the egg wash. Using a brush, spread liberally over the tops of each loaf. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar over the tops of each loaf at this time as well.

  14. Place loaves in 350 degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until the brown sugar top has become nice and golden. Let cool completely before turning out of the pan.

Recipe Notes

This recipe was adapted from A Brown Table's Sweet Potato Pie Babka.

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

This is going to be the best Thanksgiving breakfast ever!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread

We’re taking this week by the horns, and this Peanut Butter & Jelly Pull-Apart Bread is going to help us do it.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread | CaliGirl Cooking

There’s nothing like conquering a delicious bread recipe to give you some motivation and an extra boost of confidence (when it turns out well, that is.) Not considering myself an “experienced” bread baker, I have to admit that I had my doubts about this recipe throughout the ENTIRE baking process. I powered through and told myself to keep going even when the gumminess of the dough was making my stand mixer overheat. Thankfully the amount of butter in this recipe loosened things up nicely and the result was a rich, moist dough laced with creamy peanut butter and jelly.


But first, how was everyone’s weekend? We had a great couple of days with my folks, going out to eat at some tasty Santa Barbara restaurants and hitting up the Paul Simon concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl last night. It was a triple date with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and Chris and I (the first time we had ever done such a thing) and it was a blast! The Santa Barbara Bowl is an out-of-this world outdoor concert venue and if you’re ever in the area between the months of April and October (“Bowl Season”) I highly recommend you get a ticket to whoever happens to be playing while you’re here, it is so worth it!

Anyhow, I digress. Back to this Peanut Butter & Jelly Pull-Apart Bread. This was a bit of a nostalgic recipe for me to create. I came up with the idea based off of this Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard. It came out so well and got such rave reviews that I knew I wanted to play around with the “pull-apart” concept and come up with some different flavor combinations. If you’ve known me for any period of time, you’ll know that I am a biiiiiiig peanut butter-lover. Like, I kind of need to have it in some form or another every single day. And peanut butter and jelly are just natural partners, amiright? There’s nothing that goes better together (IMHO.)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread | CaliGirl Cooking

So, since this flavor combo would be a little sweeter than the Comte and whole grain mustard I filled the beer bread with, I decided to go with more of a brioche dough for this bread. I pulled out my trusty Bouchon Bakery cookbook (can’t go wrong with that, even if it’s a leeeetle bit intimidating) and found Thomas Keller’s recipe for Craquelins. Technically, Craquelins are brioche’s sugar sweet cousin. They’re these cute little rolls dusted in pearl sugar with a sugar cube tucked inside each one. I didn’t go quite that far, but slightly adapted Mr. Keller’s recipe to come up with a buttery, slightly sweet dough laced with vanilla and cinnamon.

Important note: The dough needs to rest quite a bit (including an overnight rise) so you’ll want to plan in advance when making this recipe. But the waiting is the hardest part. When you break it down step by step, the actual techniques and ingredients required are REALLY easy.

The first step is to make a “starter” and let that sit for about an hour. Then we get into the mixing and kneading of the dough. We let the dough go through a rise as is before lacing it with the peanut butter and jelly, then let it rise overnight in the pan in what will eventually be its finished form. In the morning, we bake it off and less than an hour later we have a delicious, messy, sticky, sweet loaf of Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread | CaliGirl Cooking

Eat it right away, freeze it for later, or cut it into pieces to pack in your (or your child’s) lunch. This is an incredibly rich bread and you really don’t need very much to feel satisfied. A little bit goes a long way!

Now, go forth and make this bread! I have nothing but faith in you, you can do it!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread

Yield: Makes one 8-inch loaf

A delicious, indulgent pull-apart bread laced with peanut butter and jelly.

Ingredients

    For the starter:
  • 3 ½ tablespoons whole milk, warmed to 75 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 2 3/8 teaspoons instant yeast (about 1 1/3 packets)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons plus ¾ teaspoon flour
    For the dough:
  • 2 ¾ cup plus 2 teaspoons flour
  • ¼ cup plus ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon butter, cut into ½ inch pieces, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
    For the filling:
  • 5 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup jelly (your choice of flavor, I used strawberry)
    For the egg wash:
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. First, make the starter. Combine milk and yeast in a small bowl. Add flour and mix ingredients together using your fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for one hour.
  2. Place the flour, sugar and salt for the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix to combine. Add the starter and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. While the mixer is still running, add eggs, one at a time, mixing each time until incorporated. The dough will be incredibly dry. Don’t stress! Mix on low speed for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on your mixer and give it a rest throughout the process if needed. My mixer got a little warm by about minute 10 so I stopped mixing and let it rest for a few minutes to cool down.
  3. Next, add the butter, a few pieces at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until incorporated. I stopped the mixer and used my hands to incorporate the butter for the first couple of additions, until the dough loosened up a bit. Once all the butter has been added, run the mixer for an additional two minutes. The dough will be very sticky at this point.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface (you may need to use a spatula to get the dough cleanly out of the bowl.) Pat the dough roughly into the shape of a rectangle, then take the right side and fold it over to the middle. Repeat for the left side (like you’re folding a letter.) Form dough into a ball. Spray a large mixing bowl with cooking spray and place dough in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for at least one hour, or until doubled in size.
  5. Once again, turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat into a long rectangle. Spread peanut butter, then jelly, evenly over the dough. Roll dough up into a log on the floured surface, then cut the log into slices (each slice should be 1 ½ to 2 inches thick.) Spray an 8-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, and carefully tuck the slices of dough into the pan. When it bakes, the dough will meld together and form the pull-apart bread.
  6. Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove loaf from refrigerator and place in preheated oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until top is golden and bread feels fairly solid when tapping on the center. Check the loaf at minute 35 or so. If the top is already pretty golden, cover with aluminum foil to prevent it from browning too much. Let bread cool completely before serving.
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Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread | CaliGirl Cooking

It’s peanut butter-jelly time!