This strawberries and cream pullapart is something really special. It's the softest pullapart loaf that features "leaves" of bread layered with a cream cheese strawberry filling and a "cream bath" and a rich strawberry cream cheese frosting! This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader.
The whole start of this came from watching an episode of Dexter New Blood. Someone in the show brought in strawberry cream cheese sweet rolls and I was so intrigued I looked it up. These are like cinnamon buns but with strawberry filling and quite honestly I had already made a version of strawberry cinnamon buns already which I loved SO much that I didn't want to confuse matters. So I decided to make it a pullapart instead! I got the concept for the filling and frosting from a blog called Tastesoflizzyt where she made sweet rolls.
The method to make this pullapart is so easy and clever and serving it like this makes it super easy to divide up. On the side it looks like the leaves of a book but it's just some layering and cutting that does this. If you make cinnamon rolls you'll hopefully find this a fun alternative to rolls! I first tried the method when I saw a recipe on BarbaraBakes (she's my American "adopted" mom). And don't skip the cream bath because
There are Four Main Parts to this Strawberries and Cream Pullapart:
1 - The bread is made using a tangzhong style roux. I like making breads with tangzhong as this one simple step that takes less than 5 minutes ensures pillowy soft bread that stays soft longer.
2 - The strawberry filling which is made with strawberry jam, cream cheese and diced, fresh strawberries. You can also slice the strawberries thinly too and it will work well.
3 - The Cream Bath. This just involves pouring half a cup of warmed up cream onto the dough when it's all snug in the tin. Please don't skip the cream bath as this will give the bread its amazing buttery flavour.
4 - The frosting. This is made with fresh strawberries, a bit of cream cheese (what's left in the block of cream cheese) and icing or powdered sugar. The juice from the strawberries will release so you don't have to add any liquid!
It even worked when I had my hungriest little helper in the kitchen. Every day Milo spends the day with me - in the mornings he comes upstairs while I work out and then accompanies me in the kitchen when I develop my recipes. He loves all food, there's nothing that he has ever refused and he absolutely loved the smell of these rolls when they were being made.
At the end of the day Milo and I join Mr NQN and Teddy and we take them for a walk at the park. Sort of off the cuff, Mr NQN asked me what job I'd like to do if I couldn't do what I now do. That sent a shiver up my spine as I recalled my time in corporate advertising and I blurted out, "Police detective Benson" weakly.
"That won't happen," he said drily.
Mr NQN then frowned as he saw a voicemail from my neighbour that had been left during the day. As we were putting the dogs in the car to go to the park we saw our neighbour outside. He told us that Milo was in his backyard running around. We panicked.
Milo and Teddy were in the house for most of the day. We had just let them into the backyard which we thought was completely enclosed. There was no way that the dogs could get into someone else's house. Or so we thought. Was there a hole under the fence that Teddy or Milo had dug? When we leave them in the yard, had they started the long process to freedom by digging a hole?
"Are you sure it's our dog?" I asked him.
"Yes the little brown one," he said nodding.
"Are you sure?"
"Yup, sure" he said.
"Can you come and take a look at him to be sure?" I said gesturing to the car where Milo was sitting in his car bed, unaware that he was accused of being an intruder.
I opened the car door and our neighbour took a look at Milo. He relaxed immediately.
"That's not him, the other one is lighter, he's like a mix between the white one and the brown one," he said laughing.
Milo was in the clear, no longer a suspect in the breaking and entering of the backyard.
Later that evening we were talking about the case of mistaken identity and Milo. "You laughed at me becoming a police detective but my detective training through watching Law & Order SVU helped us exonerate Milo today!". I mean he's probably right that that won't happen but there's no need to crush anyone's dreams...
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like the strawberries and cream combo? And do you have an alternative career in case you would have to change?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Strawberries & Cream Pullapart
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 50 minutes plus 2 hours rising time
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 2 3/4 cups/410g/14.4ozs all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup/125ml/4flozs water
- 1/4 cup/55g/2ozs. caster or granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup/185ml/6flozs milk
- 4 tablespoons butter, soft
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoons dried instant yeast
- 1/2 cup/125ml/4flozs cream, warmed
- 180g/6ozs cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup/160g/5.6ozs strawberry jam
- 1 cup/160g/5.6ozs diced strawberries
- 160g/5.6ozs icing or powdered sugar
- 40g/1.4ozs cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup/40g/1.4ozs strawberries, finely diced
Step 1 - Line a large loaf tin with baking parchment (mine was 27x9x7cms or 10.6x3.5x2.7inches). First make the tangzhong roux. Take 25g/1oz of the total weight of flour and whisk it with half a cup of water and put it on low to medium heat whisking to allow to become a smooth roux. Whisk in the sugar, eggs, milk, butter, vanilla and salt.
Step 2 - Fit your mixer with the beater attachment and add the remaining flour, yeast and roux and mix. Knead on low speed for 10-15 minutes until you get the windowpane effect where you can prise apart the dough with your hands and almost see through it without it breaking. Scrape the sides of the bowl and roll the dough into a ball without any cracks on top. Grease the bowl and place the ball of dough back in the bowl and cover with cling film. Rest for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
Step 3 - While it is rising prepare the strawberry filling. Mix the cream cheese and strawberry jam together in a food processor and set aside. Dice the fresh strawberries and set aside.
Trim dough to become a rectangle
Five strips of dough spread with filling
Step 4 - When the dough is ready, flour a clean surface. Punch down the dough and roll out into as large a rectangle as possible - mine was around 40x30cms (15x12inches). Trim the sides so that you get a rectangle shape. Cut into five even long strips and then spread with the cream cheese mixture and then scatter with strawberries. Stack all of the strips on top of each other strawberry side up.
Sprinkled with diced strawberries
Stacked on top of each other
Step 5 - Now measure your tin and then cut the long strips into four of five stacks and then place them in the tin vertically (as shown). Don't have them in too tight. The dough will expand quite a bit so you want some gap at the front and sides of the tin for when it expands when baking. Set aside in a warm place for its second proof/rise for 30-45 minutes.
Cut to fit the tin
Step 6 - Preheat oven to 170C/338F. Pour the warm cream over the top of the risen dough. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Check the loaf after 25 minutes and if it is browning too much, cover with foil. Turn it around in the oven so that it browns evenly. Cool in the tin and then remove and place on a plate.
Step 7 - Make the frosting. Place the icing sugar in a food processor and blitz until all lumps disappear. Add the cream cheese and pulse to create a frosting. Then add the strawberries and pulse to mash them. Spoon the frosting on top of the bread. Serve this in leaves slicing off sections as desired. Store in the fridge.