Saturday, October 3, 2015

Apple Dumpling Pull-Apart Bread with optional dipping sauce

This is probably one of the most complicated recipes I have ever made.  It is probably also one of the most delicious.  It's the apple dumpling we know and love, transformed into bite size form!

I recommend that you completely read through the recipe before you start.  It isn't a difficult recipe, but it does have a lot of steps.


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Caramelized Apples

  • 4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 64 ½-¾ inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Maple Coating/ Glaze
*note: the apple dumplings are dipped in the coating, and the remainder of the coating is later used as a base for the glaze

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup apple cider (for glaze)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (for glaze)
  • 1/3 cup pecan pieces (for glaze)

Make the Dough:
Mix 2 cups flour and yeast in stand mixer fitted with a beater blade. Turn machine to low and slowly add the heated liquid mixture. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Switch to the dough hook, gradually add the remaining flour (add more or less as necessary) until dough clings to the hook and almost cleans the sides. Knead until the dough is smooth.

In microwave safe bowl, heat milk, apple juice, sugar, salt and butter to 120° to 130°. Stir to dissolve sugar.

Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form a round ball. Coat a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with cooking spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and rise in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 2 hours.

Caramelize apples:
Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Add maple syrup, lemon, and cinnamon and stir to combine.  Add the apples and sauté until apples are softened and all the liquid is evaporated.  Allow to cool. 

Make the Maple Syrup Coating:
Heat butter, maple syrup, cinnamon to a small sauce pan and heat.  Cook on medium for about 20 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Butter a 12-cup Bundt pan liberally.

Make Dumplings:
After dough has fully risen, punch down the dough and cut it into 64 pieces.  With floured hands, flatten out a piece of dough, add a chunk of apple, and wrap the apple chunk like a dumpling so the apple is completely wrapped in dough.  Dip the dumpling into the Maple Syrup Coating, and add it to the bundt pan.  Repeat 63 more times taking care to stagger the dough balls to build layers.

When all of the dumplings have been dipped and placed into the Bundt pan, put the remaining maple syrup coating into a container and refrigerate (you’ll be using the leftovers for the glaze). Cover Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator.

Approximately two hours before you want to bake your Monkey Bread, remove it from the refrigerator and let the dough come to room temperature and begin to rise.

Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap pan and bake until top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble a little around edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out on platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

For the glaze:
While the apple dumpling bread is baking, put the remaining maple syrup coating to a saucepan and add ½ cup of apple cider.  Cook the glaze until it reduces into a syrupy consistency (about 20-30 minutes).  Add the pecans and vanilla.

Spoon mixture over the pull-apart bread after it has been removed from the Bundt pan.

Dipping sauce (optional)

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup apple cider.
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup (optional)
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream or coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Boil maple syrup, cider, and corn syrup until it reduces by 3/4. When it's nearly finished reducing, heat the cream/milk, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla in the microwave for 30-45 seconds (This will help keep the sauce from breaking).

Add the warmed milk mixture to the boiling cider/maple syrup and stir.  Serve alongside the pull-apart bread for a little extra apple-y goodness.

This recipe is partly based upon this recipe: