I warned you. I told you my posts were way behind. This is from Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras, people! In case you didn't know, Easter is Sunday. Now, I'm not a religious person at all. I am spiritual, but as the daughter of two scientists, it was never forced upon me. Presented, yes but forced, no. I even went to Catholic school for 8 years (high school and college) but after struggling with understanding religion during the first year of high school, I eventually gave up and came into my own. I realized my relationship with a higher power is definitely personal and not something that should be forced upon anyone. Which is what I think religion is.
Now, not to go on a tirade about the issues I have with religion, to put it simply, I believe it was a way to explain things that could not be explained before we discovered science and the answers we have today. I think religion has become way too political and full of the power hungry. I just believe in treating everyone the way I would want to be treated and when I do that, everything else will fall into place. Okay, done. I promise.
When the sponge was ready, I added the flour and other dry ingredients and used my dough hook to knead the dough for a few minutes. While that was rising in the bowl, I started on the filling.
I let the loaf rise for about 30-45 minutes and then baked at 375F. When I took it out, it was pretty!
Golden in the right places and baked all of the way through. I used a cream cheese frosting that was completely be accident. The glaze I was using just wasn't working for me so I threw a cream cheese and confectioner's sugar icing together and mixed, topping with sprinkles.
Here is what it looked like when we cut into it:
For the Dough
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 extra large egg
1 extra large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
For the Filling
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional, I omitted)
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
For the Dough
In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk until bubbles appear around the edges. Add the butter and set aside to cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, dissolve the yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let stand until bubbled and frothy, about 10 minutes. Add the cooled milk mixture, the eggs, remaining sugar, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg. With the mixer on low, knead in the flour one cup at a time. Increase the speed to medium-high and knead until smooth, about 5-7 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead into a ball. Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap, and place in a warm, draft free place until doubled in volume, about 60-90 minutes.
For the Filling