Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

I drooled a little when I saw photos of the cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread at Joy the Baker. My first thought was, I MUST make this IMMEDIATELY.

Just look at these soft fluffy layers of yummy-ness. It tastes as good as it looks, and everything I imagined it to be! It is like a healthier version of the cinnamon roll, but still jam packed with the same sweet sugary cinnamon goodness. The bread has a nice crunchy sweet crust, while the inside of the bread is incredibly soft.

I used my electric mixer to mix all the ingredients and make the dough. You can stir and knead the dough by hand following the steps from the original recipe at Joy the Baker. However because this is such a wet sticky dough, I find it easier to use an electric mixer to do all the messy work for me.

As usual, I didn’t read the instructions carefully and did a little boo boo by mixing all the flour in without realising that I need to do this in three separate batches. Opps! But my bread still came out perfect though. (I wonder why we need to add the flour in three seperate batches.)

I didn’t bother to take out my ruler to measure the dough exactly and cut it to size. I sort of just cut the dough vertically about the same length as the height of the loaf tin, stacked the strips of cut-out dough and cut the stacked dough horizontally roughly the same width of the loaf tin.

Because I used an electric stand mixer, I have made some modifications to the original recipe to reflect that. However, here’s the link to the original recipe at Joy the Baker if you want to do things the old fashion way.

Now the dilemma- should I eat this layer by layer, or just dive right in?

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-apart Bread
(Adapted from Joy the Baker)

The Filling
200 grams caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
55 grams unsalted butter

The Dough
2 cups (250 grams) + 1/2 cup (62.5 grams) + 2 tablespoons (16 grams) plain flour
50 grams caster sugar
7 grams (1 sachet) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
55 grams unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the filling:
Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling. Set aside.

Melt 55 grams of butter until browned. Set aside.

Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Set that aside too.

For the dough:
To activate yeast, whisk yeast into 3 tablespoons of warm water. The water should be between 41 and 46 degrees celsius. Add a pinch of caster sugar and allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes until the mixture is foamy and frothy.

Stir together 2 cups of flour, sugar and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter over low heat just until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat, add the water, and set aside until warm (46 to 52 degrees celsius). Add the vanilla extract.

Fix stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Pour the milk mixture and yeast into the flour mixture. With the mixer on low speed (#2 on KitchenAid), mix until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until incorporated. Stop the mixer, add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour, and resume mixing on low speed until the dough is smooth. Add 2 more tablespoons flour and mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth, soft, and slightly sticky. (Note: The dough will be sticky. Resist adding more flour to the dough.)

Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover the bowl securely with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Press the dough gently with a fingertip. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready for the next step. (Note: The dough can be risen until doubled in size, then refrigerated overnight for use in the morning. If you’re using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before following the roll-out directions below.)

Gently deflate the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, knead dough gently until smooth and no longer sticky. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out. The dough should be about 30 cm tall and about 50 cm long. Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough. Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips. Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again. You’ll have six stacks of six squares. Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book. Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size. Press the dough gently with a fingertip. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready for baking.

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 175 degree celcius fan force. Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown. The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw. A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto a clean board. Place a cake stand or cake plate on top of the upside down loaf, and carefully invert so it’s right side up.

The bread is best served the day it’s made and while it's still warm.

Join the conversation!

  1. Beautiful photography!
    I've never made/eaten pull apart bread, but if it can be made in a mixer easily perhaps I should try.. it does look amazing. Thanks for the recipe changes! :)

  2. Looks really really nice! (You know how much I love cinnamon!) You have to make some for me soon (:

  3. Anonymous28.9.12

    What is caster sugar?

    1. Hi Stacey. I think caster sugar is called "super-fine" sugar in the States. It is finer that granulated sugar but not as fine as powdered sugar (or icing sugar as known in Australia). Hope that helps.

    2. Anonymous29.9.12

      Thank you for your help! This recipe looks so good!


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