Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong: Challenge #16

Welcome to our Holiday Bakealong challenge. Each month, we’ll announce a new recipe for you to try, along with helpful tips and step-by-step instructions here on our blog. We invite you to bake one of our favorite holiday recipes, this stunning Cinnamon Star Bread, then share a photo of your creation, tagging it #bakealong. Enjoy!

You want to bake something extra-special for the holidays. A real show-stopper, as delicious as it is gorgeous.

One big challenge: these weeks from mid-November through the end of the year are incredibly busy. Who has time to research, decide on, bake, and — fingers crossed — end up with said show-stopper?

You do.

Trust me, I’m the last person who wants to take time — LOTS of time — to produce Instagram-perfect baked goods right now. Thus I recently approached Cinnamon Star Bread with a healthy dose of skepticism.

“Anything that looks this striking has to involve all kinds of fussing,” I think. And reading the instructions reinforces my belief: rolling four 10″ disks of yeast dough, stacking, cutting, twisting, pinching… blech!

But, obedient soldier that I am, I set aside a morning to perform my duty: make Cinnamon Star Bread for this blog post. Sigh.

And by the time I pull my gorgeous loaf out of the oven, I realize I haven’t cussed once. Those four dough disks? Rolled and patted out like a dream; they ranged from 11″ to 9 1/2″ in size, yet the bread still looks great: perfectly symmetrical.

That stacking (simple), cutting (scissors make it easy), twisting (like wringing a washcloth) and pinching (thumb and forefinger) — no problem. Despite my initial misgivings, not a SINGLE THING about this bread is hard.

Except waiting long enough to take a photo before ripping into it.

Because, friends, not only is this loaf gorgeous; it’s your best cinnamon bun dream come true. Multiple layers of cinnamon-sugar encased in tender bread beg you to pull apart, slice, or nibble. Each warm and aromatic bite is better than the last.

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

So you think you can’t make this bread? Think again. If I, a woman without a single “crafty” gene (e.g. sewing, scrimshaw carving, making porcupines out of pretzel sticks and kiwi fruit) can make this bread — so can you.

Gather your confidence, and your ingredients:

2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup potato flour or 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1/4 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
3/4 cup to 1 cup lukewarm water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

First, measure the flour by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Or even easier, weigh it (you’ll see its weight in the list above).

Next, sift the flour, potato flour, and dry milk through a strainer; this is an important step to prevent lumps in the dough. (If you’re using instant mashed potatoes rather than potato flour you can skip this sifting step.)

Combine all of the dough ingredients and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft, smooth dough.

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflour Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 60 minutes, until it’s nearly doubled in bulk.

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflour Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, cover the balls, and allow them to rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, gather your filling ingredients:

1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup sugar*
1 tablespoon cinnamon*
*Or substitute 1/2 cup Cinnamon-Sugar Plus

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflourOn a lightly greased or floured work surface (or piece of parchment), roll one piece of dough into a 10″ circle. 

As I said, don’t worry about making the circle exactly 10″ wide, or even totally round. Just do your best; rising and baking will cover any shaping faux pas.

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

If you’ve rolled on your countertop, place the circle on a piece of parchment. Brush a thin coat of beaten egg on the surface.

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Evenly sprinkle with one-third of the cinnamon-sugar (a 3 scant tablespoons), leaving 1/4″ of bare dough around the perimeter.

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflourRoll out a second circle the same size as the first, and place it on top of the filling-covered circle. Brush it with egg, and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

Repeat the layering process — egg, cinnamon-sugar, dough circle — leaving the top circle bare. Reserve a bit of the beaten egg to brush over the star once it’s shaped.

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflour Place a 2 1/2″ to 3″ round cutter, can, or drinking glass in the center of the dough circle as a guide. With a bench knife or sharp knife, cut the circle into 16 equal strips, from the cutter to the edge, through all the layers.

Or do like I do: I press the round cutter in the middle down just enough to leave an imprint and remove it. Then take a pair of scissors and cut from the outside edge of the dough to the center, stopping at the line left by the cutter. It helps to first cut the dough into four quadrants; then to cut each quadrant into four (hopefully even) wedges.

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflour Using two hands, pick up two adjacent dough strips and twist them away from each other twice so that the top side is facing up again. Repeat with the remaining strips of dough so that you end up with eight pairs of strips.

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflourPinch the pairs of strips together to create a star-like shape with eight points. Don’t be fussy; just pinch and pull to make somewhat flower-like “petals.” 

Remove the cutter, if you haven’t already.

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflour Transfer the star on the parchment to a baking sheet. Cover the star and let it rise until it becomes noticeably puffy, about 45 minutes.

While the star is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Brush the star with a thin coat of the beaten egg.

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflourBake the star for 12 to 15 minutes, until it’s nicely golden with dark brown cinnamon streaks; the center should register 200°F on a digital thermometer.

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflourRemove the loaf from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Bask in the glow of your family’s admiration. Who knew you were such an artist?

Baking gluten-free?

We’ve got you covered. Unlike many gluten-free yeast doughs, the dough for our Gluten-Free Cinnamon Star Bread is wonderfully shapeable. Give it a try, and see what we mean!

Make & freeze

This bread can be baked and frozen up to 1 month before you’re planning to serve it. Once it’s cool, wrap it airtight and store in the coldest part of your freezer, preferably away from the door. To prepare it for serving, thaw it overnight, still wrapped, at room temperature. Place it on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and reheat in a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes, until it’s warmed through.

We don’t recommend shaping the unbaked loaf, then refrigerating it overnight before baking; much of the cinnamon filling drains out and puddles around the loaf. Better to bake the loaf completely, then rewarm just before serving.

High-altitude adjustments

Do you bake at altitude? Check out our high-altitude baking tips.

Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Elegant, simple — and unbelievably easy. Take the Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong challenge to see how it's done. Click To Tweet

Are you ready to take the challenge? Read this post on your favorite device, or print the recipe (link to come). And when you’ve finished, remember to post your photos, tagged #bakealong. We’re looking forward to seeing your stunning (and delicious!) Cinnamon Star Bread.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Carolyn

    I have made a several of these – all for gifts. One of them was in the shape of a tree, baked in your paper tree pan. I can’t attach a picture here but will send it by email. I used a christmas tree cookie cutter to place on the center of the stacked (triangle shaped) dough to guide my slashes. After brushing with egg glaze I sprinkled on green sugar and snowflake sprinkles.
    On thinking about it there was one round star and two trees. I’ve yet to taste any. I’m trying to figure out a small version that I can keep for me!

    Reply
  2. Ellen Oppenheimer

    Instead of the cinnamon, I substitute pumpkin or apple pie spice. It makes an impressive house gift for Thanksgiving.

    Reply
  3. Meg

    Would it be possible to make 2 smaller versions – 6 or 8 inches around – with this recipe? I’d like to make smaller “pieces.”
    How long would a smaller version need to be baked?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Meg, we haven’t tried making a smaller version of the cinnamon star bread, but we imagine it would work just fine as long as you have the patience. Let the dough rise once all together (bulk fermentation) and then divide into 8 equal pieces. Prepare the stars as described, reducing the second rising time to about 30 minutes. They’ll probably need about the same amount of time to bake through since they’ll have a similar thickness to the full-sized version; check for doneness around 10-15 minutes. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    2. Yolanda

      Hi Meg, I made two that are ~7 inches around and cut it into 12 strips instead of 16; I found that it got a little small/difficult to twist if I cut it any smaller. The appearance was a six pointed snowflake/star, which was still fantastic!

  4. Amy

    Thanks for including the image of your real baking at the end of this post. I know that I’ll never produce something like the idealized, professionally styled version at the top. Seeing the unreaslistic image made me reluctant to try this from the start out of concern that my very unprofessional home baking skills wouldn’t make something I’d be pleased to share. I wish that Flourish would go back to showcasing real baking images and avoid the professionally styled ones for exactly that reason. Thanks for being willing to encourage us with your imperfections!

    Reply
    1. Brenda

      Amy,
      I read through all of the instructions and things don’t have to be perfect. Any imperfections will pretty much disappear when it rises and bakes. There are no special tricks and it is pretty simple…it only looks fancy. Why don’t you give it a try? I think you would be pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it turns out. And your family and friends will love it. I will definitely be making this for my family at Thanksgiving.

    2. Kathy

      I am not a pro either. But I really think we can do this. The instructions are quite clear. Try it and post that picture.

    3. Amy

      Thanks for the encouragement, Brenda, but I didn’t find the recipe intimidating at all, and PJ’s explanations are clear and simple. The problem is that while I might (on a good day) be able to make something similar to what PJ made, I KNOW that I won’t be able to make something that looks like the food stylist’s picture, so those images leave me very unsure about how my finished product will look and whether I’m likely to be happy with it. Featuring images from real bakers — especially self-declared non-crafty ones like PJ — is crucial, especially for these “some assembly required” recipes.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Terry, you can use lukewarm milk in place of the water in the recipe if you don’t have dry milk powder. We’ve found this ingredient helps make the dough extra moist and soft, but your star bread will still be delicious is you use fresh milk instead. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    2. Karen Lewis

      What about the potato flakes. I know they are often included for the same reason the powdered milk is. I don’t have them, and never think to buy them.

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      If you don’t have potato flour or potato flakes, you can omit this ingredient and reduce the water to 3/4 cup to start. The potato ingredients help keep the bread moist and stay fresh for longer. Without it, you might have a slightly paler loaf, but the flavor should still be delicious. Kye@KAF

  5. Kathy

    This is beautiful for Christmas gifts to friends and family. Thank you. I’ll be baking these soon. I just love King Authur Flour. Bought all kinds of fun stuff at the General Country Store in Vermont. I’m from NV. Sure wish you had a store and baking classes here!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Sally, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what PJ says at the end of the post, “This bread can be baked and frozen up to 1 month before you’re planning to serve it. Once it’s cool, wrap it airtight and store in the coldest part of your freezer, preferably away from the door. To prepare it for serving, thaw it overnight, still wrapped, at room temperature. Place it on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and reheat in a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes, until it’s warmed through. We don’t recommend shaping the unbaked loaf, then refrigerating it overnight before baking; much of the cinnamon filling drains out and puddles around the loaf. Better to bake the loaf completely, then rewarm just before serving.” Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re so glad you asked, Reggie, as this is often a cause for confusion. Potato flour includes all of the potato, while potato starch is just the starch (no skin, etc.). They’re not interchangeable when baking gluten-free; but they are roughly interchangeable when being used to retain moisture in yeast breads (like this Cinnamon Star Bread), which is how we call for it here. To be ultra precise about it, potato flour is about 83% starch, so you’d perhaps want to use a little less if you choose potato starch in its place, but realistically this kind of small adjustment is unlikely to make much of a difference. Mollie@KAF

  6. Kym Lach

    I made this for New Year’s breakfast earlier this year and can attest to how truly easy it is to put together, despite how difficult and impressive it looks.
    And I’ll offer the substitution I made in order to make it for breakfast with an overnight refrigerator rise. . . stovetop chunky “applesauce” filling (you decide how much sugar to add) instead of eggy cinnamon-sugar. *Definitely* held together and tightened up with a Boiled Cider/cornstarch slurry as, like you said, you don’t want a weeping, liquidy filling oozing out overnight (as well as making it taste so much better!).
    It rose up beautifully overnight in the fridge with no weeping, and baked up perfectly the next morning (adding a little extra baking time due to the cold from the fridge). It was a bit like having apple pie for breakfast instead of cinnamon rolls, which works just as well for me!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Jason, it’s more important to gauge your kneading based on the look and feel of the dough rather than the time on the clock, which is why we say to knead until it’s smooth and soft. This typically takes about 5-8 minutes of kneading by hand. When you poke the dough with your finger and it readily springs back, it’s ready! Kye@KAF

  7. Lana Krawczel

    I would like to make this for our family Christmas brunch, but one granddaughter is vegan. I know there is vegan spread to replace the butter, but do I really need the egg? If I can leave it out, I think she can eat it.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Lana, the egg in the filling just serves to help adhere the cinnamon sugar to the dough, so you can feel free to use another liquid like a milk or water. For the butter, we’d recommend a substitute that’s also a soft solid at room temperature, like Earth Balance’s Vegan Buttery Sticks. Hope this helps to make for some happy baking! Mollie@KAF

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      Debbie, you can omit the dry milk powder and instead use plain, unsweetened soy milk in place of the water in the dough. No other changes are necessary. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    3. Helen

      Depending on the reasons for being vegan, some could consider yeast “beasties” aka alive. What a lovely grandmother to be working to include this grand-baby

    4. Amy S

      Lana, I made this recipe back in 2015 after tearing the recipe out of a KAF catalog. The current version is essentially the same as it was then other than slightly less cinnamon-sugar filling (1/3 cup then). My notes say I omitted the egg and that it was pretty. So I’d say to feel free to leave it out for a vegan person or if you’re out of eggs (that’s probably what happened to me.)

      On another note, I shaped and refrigerated my bread and didn’t find the filling too messy or ugly the next morning. Keep in mind I omitted the egg and used less sugar in the filling, so there was less moisture when I baked it.

    5. KBL

      Don’t use milk if she is vegan. Strict vegans do mot eat any animal by-product, to include: chese, milk, (any dairy), eggs, honey…. and of course, obviously no meat, fowl, nor fish.

      I say a coment below explaining how to use y milk instead of milk. I often wonder about the rotein in thw soy milk changing things. But it sems to work okay.

    6. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for clarifying, KBL – in my earlier response I meant that water or a non-dairy milk could be used. Dairy milk would indeed be very anti-vegan. Mollie@KAF

  8. D.

    Is there a way to shorten the prep time so that it can be made more quickly in the morning?
    After the dough balls are made can you place them covered in the frig to roll, fill, and cook in the morning? If so what steps would you recommend?
    Will this cause the dough to develop a soured taste that could compromise the taste of the loaf?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Delores, we tried a few different ways of splitting this process up into two days, but we didn’t find any of the results acceptable enough to recommend. Instead, we suggest fully baking the loaf and freezing it up to 1 month ahead of time and according to the directions at the end of the article: “Once it’s cool, wrap it airtight and store in the coldest part of your freezer, preferably away from the door. To prepare it for serving, thaw it overnight, still wrapped, at room temperature. Place it on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and reheat in a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes, until it’s warmed through.” Mollie@KAF

  9. Laurel Anderson

    How can I adjust this recipe to be vegan? I can sub almond milk for the milk powder. But what would substitute for the egg?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Laurel, yes, use a lukewarm non-dairy milk in place of the dry milk + water, and a butter substitute that’s also a soft solid at room temperature like Earth Balance’s Vegan Buttery Sticks. The egg used in the filling is to help adhere the cinnamon sugar, but you could also brush the dough with a little of the non-dairy milk or water instead. Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It does, Ami, but it’s correct! Since so much of this loaf is exposed to the heat of the oven, it bakes up surprisingly quickly. Happy baking! Mollie@KAF

  10. Marion Asnes

    If I want to substitute cocoa for the cinnamon, is it a one-for-one swap or should I change the cocoa-sugar proportion? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It’ll depend some on your preference, Marion, but we think you’ll find that you want to use more cocoa than you would cinnamon. For reference, take a look at the filling we use in our Chocolate Babka. Happy baking! Mollie@KAF

  11. Beth Amendola

    I am so excited! I will definitely be making this for Thanksgiving. The Babka recipe was fabulous so I’m not afraid of the twisting 😂

    Reply
  12. Alba

    Hi! Can I only use all purpose flour or mashed potatoes instead of potato flour? There´s no potato flour where I live. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Do you have access to instant mashed potato flakes, Alba? If so, the same amount by weight or double by volume can be used in place of the potato flour. We didn’t test a version using mashed potatoes themselves, but using the starchy water left over after boiling potatoes (for the lukewarm water called for in the recipe) can have the same tenderizing effect. If none of these are options, you can leave the potato flour out – you just lose a little bit of the extra tenderness when you do. Mollie@KAF

    2. Shannon

      I often add mashed potatoes when making rolls. You may need a bit more flour because of the extra moisture or leave out a small bit of the liquid. A 1/2 cup of potato flakes would make about 1/2 mashed potato so that would probably work, or try only 1/3 cup to see how it works.

  13. Polly Husted

    Great Amos!! It doesn’t require a special baking pan, and oodles more attractive features. Everybody in Texas will LOVE this gorgeous bread, and I’m going to love baking it. Thanks KAF for all the wonders you share with us.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      And thanks for sharing the joy with your fellow Texans, Polly! I’m sure you’re going to enjoy this loaf — as I said, even if you don’t have that Martha Stewart gene, it STILL comes out looking great. 🙂 PJH

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Marcia, we tested this bread using 50% white whole wheat, and it was delicious. I’d hesitate to go 100% — unless you’re really devoted to whole wheat. The whole wheat flavor might be quite strong, and the loaf won’t be as light. Still, if you like whole wheat, I’d think it would be OK. Good luck — PJH

  14. Aly

    Hi, I’d like to double this recipe and make the dough in the bread machine. Do I just double all the ingredients? Or should I reduce the amount of yeast.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Aly, just go ahead and double all of the ingredients; should work out just fine. If the second half of the dough rises while you’re shaping the first half, just deflate it again before you shape it. Enjoy — PJH

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      You certainly could, Danell – I’d go a bit easy as far as thickness, but I’m sure it’ll be delicious. PJH

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Ardith, we found that icing detracts from the star’s appearance, but how about bringing it out without icing so everyone can see it, then either drizzling the whole thing with icing or icing each piece as you serve? I think that would be a good compromise. PJH@KAF

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Exactly, Theresa. Use the dough cycle to make the dough through its first rise, then proceed with shaping and finishing. Have funk! PJH@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Leavening an enriched dough like this entirely with sourdough can be tricky, Jennifer, and it will require a very healthy, active starter. We haven’t tested it ourselves, so it’ll be a bit of an experiment. We’d suggest starting by subbing up to 8 oz of healthy starter at peak activity level for a portion of the flour and water called for in the recipe. This article about adding sourdough to a recipe can offer some pointers, even though the recipes mentioned there use the starter for flavor more than rise. The rise times will be longer, and how long will really depend on the vigor of your starter, warmth of your kitchen, etc – use the visual cues in the recipe as your guide, rather than time. Let us know how it comes out if you give it a whirl. We’d be curious to hear. Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Rather than melted butter, we’d suggest milk or even water to help adhere the filling to the dough. Melted butter can sometimes cause some separation between layers during baking, but in a pinch you could use that too. Mollie@KAF

  15. John Ball

    Can you include chopped pecans or walnuts in the cinnamon-sugar mixture? If so, would that alter the baking time or temperature?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      If you want to give it a try, we’d suggest using a light sprinkling of finely diced, toasted nuts per layer. Too much filling can make it more difficult to keep the layers together during twisting and/or run the risk of tearing the dough. Hope this helps! Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      That’s an interesting question, Anne. We haven’t tried it, so we can’t guarantee that you’ll have exactly the right amount of dough and/or filling, but you’re certainly welcome to give it a try if you’re up for a bit of an experiment. Let us know how it works if you do! Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      While our Cinnamon-Sugar Plus is ideal for the filling, our Baker’s Cinnamon Filling is also a good choice. It has some fat added to it, which will make the filling richer and slightly creamy (think inside of a cinnamon bun). You can use the same amount of Baker’s Cinnamon Filling (1/2 cup total) between the layers of dough. Kye@KAF

  16. Emmanuelle

    Dear KAF, I was thinking also going on the savory side, for aperitif.
    I thought about zaatar mix instead of cinnamon. As zaatar is great with olive oil, could I replace the brushed egg by olive oil, or will this prevent from adhering ?
    I also thought of grated halloumi cheese + zaatar, this might help adhering no ?
    What do you think about it ? Would I need any other adjustment in the dough ?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You’re reading our minds, Emmanuelle! We’re working a savory version at the very moment. We think your flavor ideas are spot on. Instead of brushing the dough with olive oil, which will make the layers of dough separate, consider using an egg wash or even a neutral liquid like milk. If you want to incorporate the flavor of olive oil into the bread, consider drizzling the still-warm star once it comes out of the oven. Omit the vanilla extract in the dough and reduce the sugar to 1 tablespoon. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  17. Julie

    Yup! Turned out beautiful, easy and fun to make! Thanks for the challenge and great bake-a-long directions. Very helpful ! I will be making this again at Thankgiving !

    Reply
  18. dorothy voreis

    Had fun making this…it is in the oven baking away as I type. BUT…while waiting for the star to do it’s final rise, the cinnamon/sugar started to pool out onto the parchment paper. It had not fully risen, but popped into the oven so it would quit leaking all the cin/sugar….don’t know if it will turn out okay or not and do want to bake it again, but looking for hints to keep the filling from pooling out of the dough. Any thoughts? Too much egg wash maybe?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Dorothy, the leaking could be a result of too much egg wash or more likely of rising your shaped dough in too warm of an environment. Using your baker’s instinct to respond to the look and feel of your dough, rather than the time, is the right way to go. Next time, you might try putting it somewhere slightly cooler to rise (around 74° is ideal). Here’s hoping the final result was as good looking as it is tasting! Mollie@KAF

  19. Lucas

    Fresh, non-expired instant yeast, water at 120 per the yeast package, yet barely any rise at all. The result was good but very doughy. Any ideas what I did wrong?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Lucas, there are a handful of reasons why dough sometimes fails to rise, including using too much flour, not kneading for long enough, too cool of a rising environment, and many other factors. To better deduce what happened with your dough, we encourage you to give our Baker’s Hotline a call at 855-371-BAKE(2253) so we can troubleshoot with you further. Kye@KAF

  20. Brenda

    Can you help me adjust this so I can use the Active Dry yeast I already have? Can I just activate it in the lukewarm water before adding the water? I guess I need to start my annual KAF shopping list!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Brenda, you can use active and instant dry yeast interchangeably. We’ve found that active dry often is a bit slower off the mark than instant yeast but it usually catches up by the end of the rising time. There’s no need to proof it in water beforehand if you know it’s fresh. It can be added right in with the dry ingredients. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  21. Dawn Paris

    I was thinking of using boiled apple cider for brushing before adding the sugar cinnamon mixture. I would still brush with egg on top of the finished product at the end. Do you think that would work okay? I thought it would add a nice apple flavor without the bulk.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Dawn, we think your idea is a great one! We recently used boiled cider to brush the rugelach dough before adding the filling, and it added a pleasant sweetness. The apple flavor is subtle, but you might be able to pick up on a fruity-freshness that’s tasty. Kye@KAF

  22. Carolyn in Oakland

    Wow this turned out great! The dough was really easy to work with and quite forgiving, as described. Thanks for the delicious, creative recipe.

    Reply
  23. Anne LeMaitre

    Instant yeast has never worked out well for me. What kind of adjustments would you suggest for dry active yeast?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’ve found in side-by-side tests that they tend to provide equally good results. Sometimes the active dry is a bit slower off the mark, but it catches up by the end of the rising time. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  24. Bethany

    I just made this and it turned out beautiful and delicious on the first try! Great recipe! My cinnamon and sugar leaked out a bit, though. Is there any way to prevent that with this shape?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Try being a little bit lighter with your egg wash between the layers next time, Bethany. The moisture from the egg can cause the sugar to liquefy and become a bit drippy. Using less should help prevent this next time. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  25. Richard

    Just made the first one..not perfect -looked good – taste was great … Did note that the baked Cinnamon Star Bread stuck to the parchment paper ? I was not sure how to incorporate the butter into the flour mix ? Did the kneading by hand which was fine….Forgot the extract !!!! Will add picture as soon as the grand kids show me how…
    for those who think its too hard or has to be perfect – Do not hesitate –Its wonderful tasting and looks fine being just ok ..and try to remember its your personal creation, so be overjoyed after you see the smiles after the first bite…

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re really loving your Bakealong spirit, Richard, and we couldn’t agree more – the joy of baking and sharing is so much more important to the experience than the perfect look. The room temperature butter should be soft enough that it’s easily worked into the dough and sometimes cutting it into small chunks can help. As for the sticking, it’s normal for a little filling to leak out during baking, and that sugar can harden up as the loaf cools. Next time (assuming there is one??), try loosening the loaf from the paper after 5-10 minutes to help break up any sticky bits. Even if you allow it to finish cooling on the parchment, it should be easier to move around this way. Mollie@KAF

  26. Cynthia Kepler-Karrer

    I have a church group that gets together once a month to explore bread as a spiritual discipline. The only problem is that we get together at 7:00pm–not the ideal time to start to do something like this! We usually try to do an adaptation that allows for a slow rise in the fridge, but I saw above that you didn’t have something that satisfied you for a 2 day process. Is it possible to freeze the dough before the bulk rise? That would allow for someone to take the dough out when they had a full day to finish it off. When I have done that before, I have allowed for about 15 minutes of rise before wrapping loosely in plastic and then putting into a gallon freezer bag. Or have I just discovered some well-trodden and yet unsuccessful ground?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You could try that, Cynthia, though we’d recommend freezing the dough right after kneading, rather than letting the dough rise for 15 minutes beforehand. To prevent die off in the freezer, you want the yeast to be as inactive as possible when you put it in there. Alternatively, you could also mix and knead the dough, then allow it to complete its bulk rise more slowly in the fridge. Roughly 12 hours later, the dough will be ready to shape, assemble, rise a second time, and bake as directed in the recipe. Here’s hoping one of these two methods work for you and the group! Mollie@KAF

    2. Cynthia Kepler-Karrer

      Ah–so may I ask what you tried for a 2-day process? I had assumed that doing a slow rise in the fridge was what you found unsatisfactory, but maybe there were other techniques to slow down the process. We have definitely found that doing anything other than the bulk rise in the fridge leaves us with not great results.

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      Cynthia, we tried letting the shaped, filled star rest in the fridge overnight before baking the next morning. We found that this resulted in a weepy filling that leaked out onto the baking sheet. If you’d like to do an overnight rise, you can complete the first rise (the bulk fermentation) in the fridge. The next morning the dough will be cool, but you should be able to divide, shape, and bake as your normally would, allowing slightly more time for the star to proof before baking. Kye@KAF

    4. Cynthia Kepler-Karrer

      Everyone LOVED this recipe! They were so gratified that it came together so easily and the dough was so easy for some of our older hands to knead. And the directions absolutely made doing the shaping so easy. And they really started riffing on the idea of the savory–especially alternating some marinara or roasted red pepper sauce and pesto on the different levels to see if we can get some Christmassy feel to it. We’ll be posting our results!

    5. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for reporting back, Cynthia! We’re so glad to hear that it was such a success that you’re all already thinking of more ways to enjoy it. We’re with you on the savory idea, and hope to be sharing some ideas of our own along these lines soon. Stay tuned…Mollie@KAF

  27. terri rees

    1. Why potato? I tried the apple twist bread, very dry – not moist
    2. Can this recipe be easily doubled? Haven’t done the bakers conversion – but just wondering.
    3. Can you no use the potato/flakes?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Terri, the starch in potato (flour, flakes) helps to both attract and retain water, boosting the moisture in yeast breads. We like what it adds to recipes like this one and the Cinnamon Apple Twist Bread, but you can choose to leave it out if you prefer. If you do, we’d suggest starting with the lower amount of water, as potato flour absorbs quite a bit of moisture, and your dough without it may not need quite as much. And sure, go ahead and double this recipe! As with any yeasted recipe, whether or not you choose to double the yeast is baker’s preference – the more yeast, the faster the dough will rise, and conversely, the less flavor development you’ll get. Hope this all helps and happy baking! Mollie@KAF

  28. Rachel Paunan Peterson

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe. Made it this past weekend, and it was a hit! Followed the directions step-by-step, and it turned out exactly like the picture. The flavor and texture were also perfect, since the bread was gone within 15 minutes after taking it out of the oven. No one wanted to wait. Had a few who wanted me to make it for Thanksgiving, so I will have to make several to make everyone happy. Thanks again!

    Reply
  29. Colleen Swider

    Hi – Great Recipe. I tried it out following all the directions. But although my dough rose a lot in the first rising, by the time I twisted it and let it rise again. It just never got that puffy. Maybe I rolled it too thin. The resulting bread looked pretty but was not tender or light. Help! What did I do wrong?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Colleen, it sounds like you might have used a quick rising yeast (like rapid-rise), which is known to only produce one strong rise. We recommend using instant or active dry yeast for best results. If you did use the correct yeast, then consider giving our Baker’s Hotline a call so we can troubleshoot further: 855-371-BAKE(2253). Kye@KAF

    2. Colleen

      I used Product

      SAF Red Instant Yeast purchased from King Arthur store and kept in the freezer. It is about 9 months old though. Maybe I let it rise too much in the first rise. It might have been a little more than doubled.
      Thanks for the help, I would really like to get this right!

  30. Vivian

    Could you use the filling from the Cinnamon-Apple Twist Bread recipe provided that you cut the apple into fairly small chunks?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We haven’t tried that Vivian, but you’re welcome to give it a shot. If you do attempt it, consider using the smallest holes on your grater to break down the apples as much as possible. Otherwise the apples might create lumps and bumps that show through the layers of dough. We think apple butter could also be a nice way to celebrate the flavors of the season in this bread. Kye@KAF

  31. ToryM

    Turned out beautifully despite the flaws in my rolling and pinching. Now the real question is, what do I wrap it in to put it in the freezer airtight (only for 4 days)? It’s too big for a gallon ziploc. Any ideas?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Plastic wrap! Do your best to wrap it tightly, using multiple pieces coming from different directions to create a seal. Good luck. Kye@KAF

    2. KBL

      I often use two galon ziplocs. They work wel, and I double em up, with the first ziploc’s zipper placed at the bottom seam of the second ziploc. I think it helps prevent any drying. Though for short term frezing it’s probably not necesary.

  32. Cara

    Do you think I could just do a straight substitute of the water with apple cider? Or would that ramp up the activity of the yeast too much with all that extra sugar?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We haven’t tried it, Cara, but we’re intrigued. If you do, be sure to use the cider at the same lukewarm temp as you would the water. You might also consider reducing or cutting out the other added sugar in the recipe. Either way, we hope you’ll keep us posted, as we’d be curious to hear how it works for you. Mollie@KAF

  33. Rachel

    I have potato starch in the house, but no potato flour (or instant mashed potato). Would a combination of flour and potato starch work as a replacement for the potato flour? If so, what ratio would you recommend?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Rachel, potato flour includes all of the potato, while potato starch is just the starch (no skin, etc.). They’re not interchangeable when baking gluten-free; but they are roughly interchangeable when being used to retain moisture in yeast breads, which is how we call for it here. To be ultra precise about it, potato flour is about 83% starch, so you’d perhaps want to use a little less if you choose potato starch in its place, but realistically this kind of small adjustment is unlikely to make much of a difference. Mollie@KAF

  34. Maggie

    Made this gorgeous bread three days ago..wish I could post a picture..we ate it to make sure I could do it successfully for Thanksgiving…delish and easy. Terrific dough…will try to make
    New York style prune or cheese Danish with this dough..I’ll let you know how it works out. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Oh, Maggie, I like the direction you’re headed: true Danish dough is really time-consuming, and this might be a great shortcut. Thanks for sharing! And glad the twist bread was a success for you. PJ@KAF

  35. Bev Stegeman

    Great recipe, and easy to make it look professional! I was wondering if I could use a filling like that in your Cranberry-Orange Babka, or maybe some orange marmalade?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      If you’re looking to use this cinnamon filling in the babka recipe, you might want to add some additional chips (butterscotch, cinnamon) or nuts along with the cinnamon filling (about 1 cup of add-ins total). You might also want to use a bit more the cinnamon-sugar mix to ensure you can cover the whole base of the dough (about 3/4 cup total). Another delicious babka version to try? Chocolate! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Apologies Bev, we thought you wanted to use the cinnamon filling in the babka. It sounds like you’d like to do the reverse: use the babka recipe in the star bread. The cranberry orange filling might be a bit too chunky for the star bread unless it’s pulsed in a food processor until it has a fine texture. Orange marmalade might leak out of the layers during baking, so consider thickening it with a bit of Instant Clearjel mixed with sugar (to prevent clumping). Otherwise, just know you’ll have a bit of clean-up to do but the final result will still be delicious! Kye@KAF

  36. John Rogers

    As soon as I saw this I knew I make it. It was fun but I’m going to call mine a sunflower star after the sunflower starfish, which mine more closely resembles. I need to work a little more with the dough before rolling it out. Otherwise a fun experience on a rainy California afternoon! Thank you!

    Reply
  37. Liliana

    Total bread flunky here (like in I have thrown away every single yeast-based bread I have ever made, and I have tried many) and this came our FABULOUS! Give it a try.

    Reply
  38. becky

    I baked it this weekend for breakfast and it was easy and delicious and impressive looking – going to make this for Christmas breakfast at my folks house. I also plan to make a king cake from this recipe, making longer strips, stacking with cinnamon filling, twisting the layers, then making a ring. We’ll see how that comes out, but that’s not until 12th night.

    Reply
  39. Marjorie Oberg

    Thank you so much for the instructional step by step pictures. I am encouraged to make this with my two grandsons ages 5 and 7. They enjoy rolling dough and have now reached the stage where they want their baked products to look attractive. Worse case scenario; it will taste good enough to eat even if it doesn’t look exactly like the picture. I am game to try it. and I bet we have fun.

    Reply
  40. Ame

    If this is the star of David, I would make it for a Jewish holiday and reshape for Thanksgiving or Christmas. As I make Easter Bread every year, this ought to be interesting. Thank you.

    Reply
  41. Jacqueline Church

    I’m dying to try this with a savory herby filing like the butterflake loaf (which I love). Then it could go with Thanksgiving dinner (like we need more carbs!) Anyone tried a savory version?

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      Jacqueline, yes, we’ve done savory versions. The butter flake herb filling is based on butter, which could make getting things to stay put a little tricky. I recommend using a mixture of herbs and your favorite grated hard cheese, and keeping the egg wash step as is. That should do the trick. Susan

  42. Pat Resende

    I made this yesterday and was amazed at how easy it was! I followed the recipe exactly, using potato flour (I keep a small container of it in the freezer for very occasional use), and kneading with the dough hook of my mixer, but instead of dusting the baked star with confectioner’s sugar, I sprinkled turbinado sugar on it before baking. The egg wash made it stick, and the result was an almost-sparkling surface – visually very appealing. I popped it into the freezer to serve in a few days, so I can’t report how it tastes, but it has all the right texture and I expect it will be delicious! I love KA – quality company, quality products – and I’m really enjoying the Bakealong Challenges!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It would, Joe! We’d suggest letting it cool completely, then wrapping it up well in plastic. Warm it up briefly before serving, and it will be just about as delicious as straight from the oven! Mollie@KAF

  43. Katie wiseman

    This recipe appeals to every part of my being: DIY-aholic, symmetry, yeast dough-addict, and of course my love of all things carb food !!

    Reply
  44. Joy

    Forgive me if this a duplicate or obvious question (tried to read all comments first, two toddlers refuse me the privilege of leisurely doing most any thing), but i am wondering what the diameter of the finished product is. Love to bake from scratch but not well versed in recipes that involve yeast. Is it pretty much the dimensions of the 10″ discs?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Joy, we’ve found that the dough expands by about 2″ in each direction so the finished star is about 14″ in total diameter. We hope you give it a try! Kye@KAF

  45. Emily I.

    I just finished making this for the first time a few minutes ago and I’m so pleased with the way it came out. I found the instructions crystal clear and overall an easy recipe. Then again, my friends and family like to remind me that my definition of easy and the average persons are vastly different. I left out the dry milk completely and found that it didn’t really matter for me, it still came out amazingly well.

    Reply

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