This soft and delicious Pull Apart Bread is even better when it’s filled with your favourite fillings. Make them different and every bite is a surprise. The perfect breakfast, snack or even dessert Sweet Bread!
I love making yeast Breads, I love the smell while they are baking in the oven, I love the kneading and the rising and best of all I love them warm out of the oven. Sweet breads have a softness to them that savory bread don’t, and of course they aren’t overly sweet, just right. But to tell the truth I rarely make sweet bread. I quite often make homemade Pizza and Savory Breads.
I know a lot of you get put off making yeast breads because you think they are too much work or it takes too much time. Maybe a little time but not much work, (especially if you use a stand up mixer with the hook attachment) and it is totally worth it, especially this Pull Apart Bread.
How to make it
In a large bowl or stand up mixer, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar, add the yeast and mix gently, make a well in the middle and add the egg, butter, vanilla and milk, mix with a fork until it is almost combined.
Then with the dough hook knead the dough until smooth and elastic, (this dough can also be kneaded by hand). Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and form into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 40 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge and form into 12-13 small balls, flatten one ball at a time (keep the other balls covered with a tea towel) with the palm of your hand, pulling and stretching gently with your fingers. Fill with desired filling, 1 heaping teaspoon or more depending on the size and thickness of the circles, seal edges together and gently form into a ball again, making sure edges stay sealed.
Place the dough balls sealed side down in a prepared cake pan, I used a small pan so the leftover I placed in a loaf pan, leaving them slightly apart, cover well with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise 2 hours in a draft free warm area. Once risen brush the dough with an egg wash and bake.
Let cool slightly, dust with powdered sugar. and enjoy!
How to fill the dough
A great tip I learned from my husband’s Pastry making friend is when you are flattening the balls for filling, flatten the dough with the palm of your hand and gently stretch with your fingers, don’t use a rolling-pin because rolling it it is too hard on the dough.
How to know when the bread is done
The finished bread should be golden brown on the top, if the bread is browning too much before it is done, then cover it with foil and continue baking. The bread is done when the inside temperature reaches 190F (88C).
How to store the baked bread
Sweet Bread tends to dry out very quickly, so always keep it stored in an air tight bag or under a covered cake container. It will last about 2-3 days.
How to freeze it
The Pull Apart Bread can either be frozen once it is baked and cooled or the dough after it has risen can be frozen. To freeze the baked bread, make sure to cool it completely then wrap it well in foil and place in a freezer safe bag. It will keep for 2 months in the freezer.
To freeze the risen dough, wrap it well and place in a freezer safe bag or container. To use the frozen dough, defrost it overnight in the fridge, let it come to room temperature, usually an hour is enough, then continue with the recipe. The dough will last 2 weeks in the freezer.
Adding the Filling and forming the dough
Remember if you flatten them a lot, just make sure you seal the ends really well so the filling doesn’t come out while baking, I would advise you not too make them too thin. I find it easiest to pinch the ends underneath this gives it a smooth top.
More Yeast Breads
Traditional Italian Ciabatta Bread
And there you have a Surprise Inside Pull Apart Bread. Now just bake it and eat it while it is still warm, I dare you not too! Enjoy!
Surprise Inside Pull Apart Bread
Pull Apart Bread Dough
- 2 ½ cups flour (325 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 ¾ teaspoon active dry yeast*
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup + ½ tablespoon milk lukewarm (120 grams)
*or Substitute with 1 1/3 teaspoons of instant yeast.
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
FILLINGS - fill with Nutella, mini chocolate chips or even your favourite jam or the following brown sugar cinnamon filling.
BROWN SUGAR CINNAMON FILLING*
- 2 tablespoons butter (soft)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar (lightly packed) (56 grams)
*This should be doubled if you want to use it for all the recipe.
- In a large bowl or stand up mixer whisk together flour, salt and sugar, add the yeast and mix gently, make a well in the middle and add the egg, butter, vanilla and milk mix with a fork until it is almost combined.
- If using a stand up mixer then attach the dough hook and knead on #2 for 7 minutes, if kneading by hand then knead for 15 minutes, the dough should become smooth and elastic, it may be slightly sticky but do not add more flour. Form the dough (on a lightly floured flat surface from the mixer) into a ball, wrap it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 40 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and form into 12-13 small balls (approximately 45 grams each), flatten one ball at a time (keep the other balls covered with a tea towel) with the palm of your hand, pulling and stretching gently with your fingers until the desired circle size is reached, be sure not to stretch the dough too thin. Fill with desired filling (1 heaping teaspoon or more), seal the edges together and gently form into a ball again, making sure edges stay sealed, place seal side down in parchment paper lined 9 inch (24 cm) cake pan, leaving them slightly apart, cover well with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise 2 hours in a draft free warm area.
- Pre-heat oven to 320F (160C).
- Whisk together until well combined the egg and milk, brush the mixture gently on the risen dough, bake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until golden (inside of the dough should read 190F when cooked) If the dough is browning too much, cover with foil and continue baking. Let cool slightly and dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
BROWN SUGAR CINNAMON FILLING
- In a small bowl, mix together the butter, cinnamon and brown sugar until well combined and a sort of paste is formed.
**Inspired by Il giornale “Alice” October 2015.
when does the yeast have time to bloom if you don’t heat up the milk when you add it to the bowl? I want to try this recipe but I’m confused how the yeast will rise if not activated?
Hi Natalie, it should be lukewarm milk. I corrected it thanks. Take care!
Cyd larkin says
Lovely bread. All the recipes are wonderful. This is a beautiful website.
Thanks so much Cyd, glad you like it. Take care.
Susan Walters says
Oh Oh OH how grateful I am to have found you! so very excited to carry through my Sicilian/Italian heritage! thank you!
Hi Susan, thanks so much, I hope you enjoy the recipes. Take care.
This Pull Apart Bread looks wonderful. Could I substitute foil for the parchment paper?
Could I put this in a cast-iron pan?
Hi Camille, yes you can substitute with foil, and I think a cast iron pan would work. Let me know how it goes.
Jack Thompson says
How can I amend this recipe (Sweet Surprise Dessert Bread) fo gluten free flour?
Hi Jack I am really sorry but I don’t bake with gluten free flour so I really don’t know how you substitute it.