Friday, February 6, 2015

Vegan baklava pull-apart bread

vegan baklava pull-apart bread

Hello world! I have this fantastic idea for the blog here. I know; very scary. No need to worry, because I assure you you’ll still get your weekly-or-so dose of sugar alongside any new developments. Cake shall remain a constant. Rather, I have seized the notion of using this space to post a few, you know, stories that I’ve written and feel like sharing.

*breathes deeply* You probably know that I’m into writing and shit like that. I’m still working on that same god damn novel (excuses for my perpetual procrastination including homework, lack of sleep, lack of willpower, lack of faith in that piece of shit I call a story, etc.). And in between my bursts of productivity in that regard, I like to scribble down ideas and paragraphs about other potential novels and even short stories. Given my own dedication to long-form writing, I haven’t written many short stories. But I still have a fondness for short stories. They’re easier, in a way, and pretty satisfying to write. Nothing makes you feel good about yourself like banging out a readable story in a day.

So I’ve decided to start a new project for the blog here—writing and posting new stories once in a while, just as a way to entertain y’all with something a bit different and maybe get some nice feedback for myself, mostly as a way to motivate myself to write. It’s a win-win situation.

To start off, tomorrow I’m going to post a somewhat long short story I wrote last year. It’s probably one of my best. Just telling you so you don’t freak out when you pull up the new post and see all of this weird verbose shit filling up the screen.

From there on out, I’ll make an effort to be entertaining. I’ll write some fun stuff for you all.

And now, for the main (and most exciting!) event of this post!

Ah, yes, the shiny granite again.

Today, we have baklava pull-apart bread—and yes, it is every bit as rich and amazing as it sounds. After Sprinkle Bakes posted a recipe along this line, I knew I had to make it, even though I had never even made pull-apart bread or baklava before. Couldn’t be too hard, right?

Well, it’s not hard. There are a lot of steps involved; making the dough, chopping the nut filling, making the agave syrup (as a substitute for the honey syrup you usually see in baklava). It takes a good chunk of time to make, between all of the ingredient preparation and letting the dough rise and whatnot. But it’s worth it. So worth it. 

Even though it looks kinda weird once you actually go ahead and pull it apart.

The result is a super moist and sweet loaf that captures the essence of baklava in something recognizable as a breakfast food (yes, mother, it is). It might even be too moist and sweet, actually, so if when you make this, don’t feel the need to use all of the filling and the glaze. A lot of the chopped nut mixture fell out of the dough once I started to stack and chop it, anyway, so that dealt with itself in large part. I had no problem eating the salty, lemony nut filling with a spoon.

To put it simply—make this. Now. You’ll not regret it.

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Vegan baklava pull-apart bread

Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

Yeast activation

45 grams • warm water (between 105 and 115 degrees F) • 3 tablespoons

6 grams • active dry yeast • 2 ¼ teaspoons

2 grams • granulated sugar • ½ teaspoon

Dough

56 grams • coconut oil • ¼ cup

80 grams • nondairy milk • 1/3 cup

375 grams • all-purpose flour • 3 cups

50 grams • granulated sugar • ¼ cup

3 grams • salt • ½ teaspoon

115 grams • silken tofu, blended until smooth • ½ cup

4 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon

Filling

200 grams • granulated sugar • 1 cup

6 grams • cinnamon • 2 ½ teaspoons

50 grams • pistachios • ½ cup

55 grams • walnuts • ½ cup

30 grams • almonds • ¼ cup

Zest of ½ a lemon

2 grams • salt • ¼ teaspoon

4 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon

113 grams • coconut oil, melted • ½ cup

Agave syrup

170 grams • agave nectar • ½ cup

120 grams • water • ½ cup

Pinch salt

Instructions

To activate the yeast, place ingredients under “yeast activation” in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let mixture stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

To make the dough, start by combining coconut oil and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the oil melts. Remove from heat and let cool to about 115 to 125 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together 315 grams • 2 ½ cups flour, sugar, and salt. Pour into the bowl with the activated yeast mixture. Add milk mixture, tofu, and vanilla; mix on low speed for about 2 minutes, then increase speed to medium and mix until ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Spoon in the remaining flour. After the flour is incorporated, knead for 2 to 3 minutes.

Place dough in a large greased bowl and cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm space for about an hour, or until doubled.

Meanwhile, prepare filling and agave syrup. Stir together cinnamon and sugar under “filling” and set aside. Combine pistachios, walnuts, almonds, lemon zest, and salt in a food processor. Process until finely ground. Add vanilla extract and process until the mixture forms large, moist clumps. Set aside.

To make agave syrup, combine agave, water, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced by about 1/3.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Gently flatten it with your fingers, then roll out to about 20 by 12 inches (not that it doesn’t need to be a flawless rectangle). Cover with melted coconut oil and sprinkle on the cinnamon-sugar mixture and nut mixture. Cut the dough vertically into six even strips and stack each strip on top of each other. Cut the stacked pieces into 6 square pieces and layer them upright in a greased loaf pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top of the bread is a rich golden-brown. Drizzle agave syrup on top. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes before serving.

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Just chilling in the pan.

After this very successful endeavor into the world of pull-apart breads, I do think I will have to try a few different flavors. Just to broaden my experience a bit, you know?

In the meantime, here are some other delicious loaves you might like.

Chocolate babka. A classic so sweet you could eat it for dessert.

Chocolate hazelnut babka with nutty streusel. Because everything’s better with Nutella!

Chocolate peanut butter swirl bread. Ah, yes, more chocolate bread. Why not?

Cinnamon swirl bread. Toast of champions.

12 comments:

  1. Baklava is one of those things that is simply awesome but a VEGAN pull apart bread sounds even better! Love how you've adapted this with tofu. :-)

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    1. Yes, tofu is just an awesome vegan substitute! Use it all the time :) Glad you like the bread!

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  2. June, this seems like a wonderful recipe and I am also amazed that you managed to incorprate tofu into a yeast dough - I believe I have never seen that before! With all those nuts and that cinnamon (which just happens to be my very favorite spice), I bet this is one delicious sweet treat!
    Wishing you much success with your stories posts - I noticed the first one and will have to take some time to read it all!

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    1. Thanks so much! It is amazing--the tofu works great with it. Tofu is generally a great egg substitute for baked goods. Hope you like the story! :)

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  3. I am loving the idea of adding some of your writeries here! Curious as I am I have been wondering about your stories for quite some time! I love writing as well, but have had a bit of a dry spell for the last couple of years. I cannot wait to see what you post.

    And hell! This here pull-apart baklava - just....yes! I made some spinash parathas yesterday, and thought how nice it is when you're gathered with friend or family, and get to break some bread together, or on your own, I mean - yum! :D Hope you're having a great weekend so far :) x

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    1. Yay! I hope you do get around to reading the first one, that would make me so happy :) And I agree, pull apart bread of any flavor is fantastic :D

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  4. How did you know that I've been in a very baklava sort of mood lately!?

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  5. The only thing I love more than baklava is baklava bread (or at least I assume I do since I love baklava + bread). This is a fan-freakin-tastic recipe!

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    1. Yes--it is carb heaven over here! You can thank Sprinkle Bakes for that, she's just a genius :)

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  6. This is such a good idea! I love baklava ingredients but I would never try to make it because of the pastry. Bread I might be able to handle. Great ideas! (found you on MMJ)

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    1. I hope you do try it, it is very tasty :)

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