A sweet, cake-ish bread filled with cinnamon, pecans and brown sugar that's easy to tear into portions for beautifully warm pieces.
- ¾ cup (180 ml) full-cream (whole milk), warm, divided
- 2¼ tsp (11 ml) active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) sugar
- 1 cup (240 ml) butter, melted
- ¾ tsp (3.75 ml) salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
- 3 cups (710 ml) flour, plus more if needed, and more for rolling
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar
- 2 tsp (10 ml) water
- 1 cup (240 ml) pecans
- ¾ cup (180 ml) butter, melted
- 3 tsp (15 ml) cinnamon
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) crushed candied pecans
- ¾ cup (180 ml) thickened (whipping) cream
- ½ cup (120 ml) brown sugar
- ½ cup (120 ml) crushed candied pecans
- light cream, for drizzling (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Rising time: 1 hour
1. For the bread, combine ¼ cup (60 ml) milk with the yeast and sugar in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
2. Whisk in the butter, salt, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the flour in increments, until a dough begins to form. Once the dough forms, knead for a few minutes, then return to bowl, cover, and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
3. For the candied pecans, combine brown sugar and water in a bowl. Toast pecans in a saucepan over medium-heat for a few minutes until fragrant. Keep on the heat and pour water-sugar mixture over nuts in pan, stirring as you pour. Stir pecans constantly until they’re evenly coated and liquid has fully evaporated. Remove from heat and spread out on a lined baking tray. Once cool, place in a resealable plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin.
4. Preheat oven to 175ºC (350ºF).
5. On a floured work surface, roll out dough into a large, thin sheet.
6. For the filling, in a medium bowl, combine butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Take ⅓ cup (80 ml) of the butter-sugar mixture and spread evenly over the surface of the bread, then sprinkle the crushed candied pecans evenly over the surface of the bread. Starting at the short end closest to you, roll the bread up into a log, then cut the log lengthwise into even rounds. Roll each round into the remaining butter-sugar mixture to coat. Place one roll upright in a greased 23 cm x 12.5 cm (9-inch x 5-inch) loaf tin against a short edge, then pull it tightly against one of the long sides of the tim – this will create a little space between the round and the other long side of the tin.
7. Take another round and place it right beside the first round, but pulled snugly against the opposite long side of the tin, so that there’s a little space between it and that side of the tin. Continue placing the rolls this way, pulled tightly against opposing sides – this will cause the rolls to squish together tightly where they meet in the middle of the tin, eventually creating a woven look as you fill the tin with more and more rolls.
8. One all the rolls are in the tin, for the topping, whip cream until fluffy peaks form. Stir in the brown sugar until combined. Spread evenly over the top of the bread, letting it seep into any gaps. Place baking tin on a baking tray to catch drips from the topping that will spill out as the bread bakes.
9. Put in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until bread is golden brown. Once the bread is cool enough to handle, carefully transfer to a serving platter using a spatula and your hand, then sprinkle over top with crushed candied pecans. Individual portions, once pulled from the entire loaf, can also be drizzled with fresh cream.