Before you start, two things: 1. I love using black walnuts in this recipe. Use them if you can find them (and if you like them, they are an acquired taste.) And, 2. you may divide this recipe to make only 1 loaf of bread.
6tablespoonswarm waterbetween 105 to 115 degrees F
4 1/2teaspoonsactive dry yeast
1/2cup/113 g unsalted butter
2/3cup/160 ml milk
6cups/750 g all-purpose flour
1/2cup/100 g granulated sugar
2cups/390 g granulated sugar
1cup/100 g pistachios
1cup/110 g black walnuts
1/2cup/60 g almonds
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1cup/220 g unsalted buttermelted
1cup/340 g wildflower honey
1cup/240 ml water
Pinchof sea salt
Activate the yeast: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Stir gently and briefly. Let the mixture stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Make the dough: In a small saucepan, combine the butter and milk. Place over medium heat and cook until the butter is just melted. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool to 115 to 125 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together 4 cups of flour, the sugar and salt. Pour the dry mixture into the bowl with the activated yeast. Add the milk mixture, eggs and vanilla; stir together on low speed for 2 minutes, and then increase the speed to medium and mix until the ingredients are well incorporated (this may take a few minutes, the eggs can be stubborn to join the party). Add the remaining 2 cups of flour a little at a time. After the flour is incorporated knead for 2-3 minutes.
Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in a warm place (for me, that's usually in my kitchen on the stove-top). Since this dough make two loaves, raising time may take a little longer than usual. 50 minutes is the norm, but my dough doubled right at 1 hour 15 minutes.
While the dough is raising, prep the filling and honey syrup.
Stir together the sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor combine the pistachios, walnuts, almonds, lemon zest and sea salt. Process until the nuts are ground fine. Add the vanilla extract and process until the mixture forms large moist clumps. Set the mixture aside with the bowl of cinnamon sugar.
For the honey syrup, combine the honey, water and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture had reduced by 1/3. Let the syrup cool slightly then transfer it to a jar with a pour spout to cool further.
When the dough is raised, turn it out onto a floured surface and divide it in half. Each half will make one loaf of pull-apart bread. Gently flatten half of the dough with your fingers. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin to about 20x12-inches. Don't stress if it isn't perfect, remember, rustic. Cover the dough with half of the melted butter and sprinkle on half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Crumble half of the nut mixture over the surface of the dough, sprinkling it on as evenly as possible. Cut the dough vertically into six even strips. Stack the strips on top of each other. This can be a little tricky, because the dough will want to stretch as you pick it up, so I lift part of the dough with my bench scraper. You could also use a large spatula. Cut the stacked strips into 6 square-ish pieces, and layer them standing upright in a loaf pan. Repeat the steps with the remaining dough half. Cover the loaf pans with plastic wrap and let them rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two standard-size loaf pans and line them with parchment so that the paper overhangs two edges.
When the dough is puffed and fills the pan, then it's time for baking. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top of the bread is deep golden brown. Don't be tempted to remove the loaf too soon just because it looks done on top - it could be under cooked in the center. My loaves cooked perfectly at about 32 minutes.
Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Remove the bread by lifting it out by the two overhanging parchment edges. Drizzle honey syrup over each loaf, or serve the syrup on the side if you prefer.
Keep the bread in a container that seals air-tight.