Cinnamon Star Bread Bakealong: Challenge #16

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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
    1. Victoria

      Hello,

      It sounds absolutely beautiful. If possible, would you mind emailing a photo of it as well. Greatly appreciate it.

    2. Teresa McCormick

      I had such fun making the Cinnamon Star Bread bakealong with my son-in-law. His turned out perfectly and mine was not nearly as pretty. John flipped his bottom layer of dough as he was rolling it out and his circle was shaped beautifully. I wasn’t as careful and a thin spot ended up making a bit of mess. I learned that it is very important that your bottom layer be of uniform thickness and ready to take on the weight of the next layers or you will have a problem when it comes time to twist pieces to form the star. My bread tasted wonderfully, but it wasn’t as pretty as my son-in-law’s creation. Therefore the family ate mine and the “beautiful” one was given as a gift. While the recipe is forgiving, one does need to be careful to roll out uniform thickness layers. I didn’t have the sweet dough flavor so added 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp butter vanilla emulsion and the flavor was great.

    3. Kim in PA

      I made this twice last month, once for a party and then again for the host’s birthday because he loved it so much! It was fun! ALOT simpler than it looks to make. If I could do it, anyone can!

  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!

    3. Tamilee

      I made 1.5 times the recipe, making a full-sized star and a half-sized one. I cut the small one just like the big one (16 wedges), and it turned out fine. I had to be a little more cautious not to tear the strips from the center, but the dough is wonderfully stretchy, and it wasn’t an issue at all.
      I am in the process of baking now, but the smaller one is the same thickness as the big one, so I anticipate roughly the same baking time.

  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.

    4. Michelle M

      Amy, I once followed a paint by number exactly and the result was awful. I made this recipe twice and both times, beautiful! Not only did I have a hard time rolling out the circles (lopsided to say the least) I also began twisting in the wrong direction. I corrected myself and it still came out pretty darn impressive. Give it a try. Even if it doesn’t look perfect the taste is amazing. Much better than the cinnamon rolls I buy at a well known sandwich chain.

    5. Rhonda

      PJ didn’t get to the point she’s at, without lots of practice. That’s what it takes to produce those beautiful photos. Besides, you’d be surprised how many times it takes to get those ‘idealized, professionally styled’ photos, when you’re not creating them as fake. So, swallow your pride, and get to baking! You learn from your mistakes, and learn to improve your technique!

    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

    4. KBL

      Thanks Kye. I was also thinking of mixing a little freshly boiled potato into some warm milk to make up for the lackmof potato lakes and powdered milk as I have neither.
      I’mhoping to try baking this to bring to my friends’ very large, extended family’s, huge covered dish, Thanksgiving dinner. I know everyone will love it. And if for some reason they don’t (not likely), then I’ll get to bring it home and eat it myself!

  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

      It sounds like Kym used a chunky applesauce filling in the dough, which holds up better than a cinnamon-sugar filling. You can also mix and knead the dough and then let it complete the first rise in the fridge overnight. The next morning, you can take the dough out, divide, roll, and shape your star. Let it rise until it’s puffy and bake as directed. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    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

    2. KAY

      Laurel, if you go to a store that carries vegan products, you should be able to find a vegan egg substitute. My son and his wife are vegan, so I made a birthday cake for him using that product. Everyone was surprised to find out that it was vegan!

    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

    2. KBL

      Ijust hapened to think maybe some toasted nuts mixed wiyh a we nit of cinamon sugar on top, ot just very lightly sprinkled, finely chooed nuts on top.

      I love nutsmwith cinamon & sugar in most anything, but don’t want this beauty to fall apart…

    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

    2. Jen

      Thanks for asking this question! Did you or anyone at KAF ever settle on a savory recipe? I made the original yesterday and it was fabulous. Thinking of making a savory version for a holiday party app on Friday. I was considering garlic, Parmesan, and sun dried tomatoes, maybe some rosemary. Pesto would be awesome but it sounds like it wouldn’t be recommended based on all the recos to avoid fat between the layers to prevent separating. Any additional advice here would be much appreciated!

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      Hang tight, Jen! Two savory versions are coming right around the corner: one with a pesto/Pecorino filling and another that’s pizza inspired! We’ll be sharing these variations in early December. 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

    2. Claire

      So you totally replaced the egg between layers with boiled cider? And only brushed the finished bread (before baking) with egg. Just want to make sure I am understanding this correctly.

  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
  46. geri senter

    I have made this twice now and love how it turns out and tastes. I was wondering tho if you could just roll out all the dough and make cinnamon rolls instead of doing the star if it would turn out just as good.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Geri, the flavors will still be present in roll-form, but the overall taste experience will be difference since there dough will be much thicker than in the star form. If you’re a cinnamon-bun lover, you’re welcome to give it a try. You can use this recipe for Cinnamon Rolls for guidance in the preparation and baking steps. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  47. Vivian

    Can you use this shaping technique with the sweet almond bread mix? Not sure if there would be enough filling to make the layers

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      There’s a comparable amount of filling in the Almond-Filled Sweet Bread Mix, so we think the star approach is a fabulous idea! Just be sure to divide the filling into three equal portions before spreading it on the dough. This will ensure you have enough and also make even layers. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  48. christine bessent

    Impress all your friends and relatives with this yummy bread that looks like it took hours and incredible skill to make. I substituted milk for the water and dried milk. Also used butter between the layers with the egg brushed on top of final layer. Added confectioners sugar icing, but it might not have been necessary. Will definitely get busy baking these for holiday gifts.

    Reply
  49. Lane Baxter

    I came here because the ad on Facebook said a six year old could make this bread. A six year old might be able to place the circles on top of each other with some help, and they could probably twist the dough after some help with the cutting. However a six year old would have to be pretty precocious to make this yeast bread from start to finish. I have two 6 year old grandchildren and I know what they are capable of.

    Reply
  50. Esther Brownsmith

    I saw in the comments that you’re working on a savory version of this. Any results so far?

    I would love to make this with garlic bread flavors. Since you noted that fat between the layers would prevent them sticking together, I was thinking of using an egg wash with a garlic-and-herb mixture between the layers, then brushing everything with melted butter after it’s baked, as with Parker House rolls. (Maybe a bit of lemon rind infused in the butter?) Would that work? Do you think fresh or dried garlic powder would be best?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We do have one great savory version that we highlighted in the most recent issue of Sift, Esther. You’ll see that we’ve done much what you described, though we didn’t brush the final product with butter (sounds good, though). Either minced fresh garlic or garlic powder could work here, we’d say choose whichever better fits your tastes (light, all over garlic flavor or tiny bursts of flavor). Happy baking! Mollie@KAF

  51. Bailey Adolphsen

    Just made this today and it turned out amazing! It was super easy and ended up much more symmetrical than I thought it would. 🙂 The only thing I did different was to leave out the potato flour, as I couldn’t find any. I made up for this by adding an extra 1/2 cup of regular flour. I wouldn’t guess the difference! I intended to make this for Thanksgiving (tomorrow) but I’m quite sure it won’t last ’til then. Can’t wait to make one for Christmas!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Glad to hear your star turned out suitably star-like, Bailey. I was surprised how well mine turned out, too, given my lack of skill with anything “artistic.” Now, next time you find yourself without potato flour, here’s your solution. PJH@KAF

  52. Maggie

    This morning we had the second of the two stars I have made…the first was the test, delish…great, easy recipe. It disappeared like magic. This one was baked ahead, cooled, wrapped and frozen. Defrosted overnight and reheated, as per instructions. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe and the detailed instructions. Super terrific…will be baking this often.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’d love to see a photo of your successful star bread, Maggie. Feel free to share it on our Facebook page, or post it on Instagram or Twitter using #kingarthurflour. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  53. Tamilee

    This recipe is outstanding. It wasn’t difficult at all (I made it from start for finish in 2.5 hours with not much hands-on work), and it was as delicious as it was beautiful.
    I increased everything (except the egg) by 50% to make one regular-sized and one half-sized star. For the small one, I used a smaller circle for the center and cut the dough into 16 strips. It turned out great (I was just more cautious not to separate the thinner strips from the center).
    This was the perfect choice for the inaugural recipe to try out my new KitchenAid Pro Stand Mixer!

    Reply
  54. andrea

    I’m wondering if the bakers cinnamon filling would be too much for this?
    I was thinking about trying with bakers cinnamon filling and finely chopped walnuts, but concerned it might be too much. Recommendation?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The Baker’s Cinnamon filling does have some fat added to it, which will make the filling richer and slightly creamy (think inside of a cinnamon bun). The walnuts will also add a bit of richness, so just expect to make a decadent star. (There’s nothing wrong with that!) You can use the same amount of Baker’s Cinnamon Filling (1/2 cup total) between the layers of dough. Kye@KAF

  55. Lync

    Quick question…. If using KAF bread salt, is it a 1to1 conversion, ie 2 teaspoons of salt? Or do you use less as it is sea salt?
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Lync, you can use our bread salt 1:1 to replace the salt in your recipes. The extra vitamins and minerals in the bread salt will help feed the yeast in dough. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  56. Valerie

    This was so easy to make and so great to eat! I added a little powdered sugar glaze to mine, along the cinnamon stripes. This is really delicious! Can’t wait for tomorrow’s challenge!

    Reply
  57. Jani

    I’m a little late this month with the bakealong, but I managed to get it in on the very last day. Bad me! LOL! This recipe was so simple to make, and it tasted fantastic! Hopefully, tomorrow’s challenge will be just as tasty and indeed lovely to make. I love King Arthur Flour!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We wonder too, Laura. We’d guess it would be just fine, though it’ll be a little different in color and a little richer, which we assume is what you’re aiming for. If you decide to give it a try, let us know how it comes out! Mollie@KAF

  58. Jan

    What a great recipe! I put off making this for several weeks because I was kind of intimidated. Silly me! The dough was easy to work with, and assembly was very forgiving. Turned out fantastic. Can’t wait to try a savory version. Thanks KAF! Not sure how to post a picture of it.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Jan, we’d love to see a picture of your star! You can share it on our Facebook page or post it to Instagram or Twitter using #bakealong. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  59. Trish

    I am a complete novice, I’ve never baked any kind of bread. I tried this twice and both times my dough didn’t rise, not a bit. I used Fleischmann’s Instant Yeast “Rapid Rise” in the yellow packet. The expiration was Sept of 2019. Did I use the wrong product? Or is there a particular way to mix the dough? The first time I used a hand mixer with a dough hook, and the second time I kneaded it by hand. I worked it much less the second time. Thoughts?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Trish, we don’t recommend using Rapid Rise Yeast unless it’s specifically called for in a recipe. It’s known for only producing one strong rise. For best results, try using an instant or active dry yeast. There are other factors that contribute to the successful rise of the dough; check out a few of them outlined in this blog post here. We hope that helps, and happy baking! Kye@KAF

  60. Sheila

    I want to try this with my grandmother’s Christmas stollen recipe! It looks so much prettier than the oblong loaves. i’d have to look at the dough recipe to see how similar they are, but she just used almond pie filling in the center and sprinkled with additional nuts (usually chopped walnuts, sometimes hickory nuts from the farm – never almonds). I’ve been adding raisins which wouldn’t work here – but most of the family is traditional and and say ‘but she never put raisins in!”

    Do you think pecans, black walnuts, or hickory nuts in the filling would work? Or just use the canned almond filling? of course I may hear ‘it’s pretty but she never made them like this!” How much longer do you think the rolling, spreading, cutting and shaping would take per loaf? I usually start baking about 5am Christmas Eve, my list has been getting shorter but I still do 10-12 loaves.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Shelia, we checked with one of the bakers here at King Arthur Flour who used to bake hundreds of stollen every holiday season at her bakery. (She’s a stollen pro!) She started off by explaining that part of what makes stollen so special is the characteristic shape, but if you’re ready to break out of the stollen mold, you’re welcome to try this unique shaping approach. She said, “I suspect almond will be the nicest flavor in the filling, since it’s a sweet bread and the other nuts are bolder in flavor. The dough is generally fairly firm, so it keeps the traditional cradle shape and doesn’t slump out. You might need to try a batch first to see if you can get the dough rolled out thinly enough.” She suggests baking for about 10-15 minutes per loaf, adjusting as necessary. We hope this helps get you started and feel free to use your taste buds as a guide. Good luck and happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Hilary. We’re excited to say that the star bread is going to carry us through the holiday season. November was all about the cinnamon-sugar version, and for December we’re focusing on the savory versions. Both pesto and pizza stars await! Kye@KAF

  61. Christopher Smith

    This is a wonderful recipe. If I hadn’t baked it when no one was home, it would never have made it to cool.

    Did anyone else have a problem getting it off the parchment when it was done? The little bit of filling that oozed out was like super glue and the bread is way to soft to pull on while it was still warm, I had to wait until it was almost fully cooled to get it off.

    One additional thing I did was to put a touch of water on the ends before I pinched them together to form the points. It sufficiently ‘glued’ them together that I didn’t have any separate during the 2nd rise or bake.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Clever trick for the ends, Christopher! If you decide to give this another bake, try sliding a bowl scraper or spatula around the star to separate the bread from the parchment while still warm. No need to move it yet, but this should help to keep the two from hardening together as it cools. Mollie@KAF

  62. Kathleen

    I have wanted to make this since I first saw it but didn’t think I could. Well today I did and it came out great! Thanks so much for the great instructions and recipes.

    Reply
  63. Dave

    I was reading posts on this recipe a few weeks ago and someone had posted that instead of cinnamon, they used a cardamon mixture. I am now having trouble finding that post. Can someone help? Thank you.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re not finding that mentioned in the comments here, either, Dave. Maybe it’s something you saw when we posted about this on Facebook? Regardless, if you’re looking for some additional inspiration for fillings, we’d suggest checking out our article about savory stars. There’s lots there to love! Mollie@KAF

    2. Bev

      Dave, I too was looking for that comment. It is located on the other page with the actual recipe (https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/cinnamon-star-bread-recipe#reviews). It was from Sarah who said this: “My youngest daughter and i both have a sensitivity to cinnamon, so I worked this recipe with an eye to avoiding the cinnamon. The first one i baked, i used a chocolate hazelnut spread instead of the cinnamon sugar filling, and it turned out just great! The second one is ready to put together now, and i am using a mixture of sugar with small amounts of Ginger, Cardamon, Coriander, Allspice and Nutmeg to substitute for the cinnamon. It smells marvelous! Can’t wait to dig into them tomorrow with the family!”

  64. Anna

    Is this the challenge for December and November? I keep checking to see if something exciting will be posted for December, but maybe this was meant for both months? I suppose I can go back and try ones I’ve missed, but after my sucess with this, I was looking forward to a little Christmas-y challenge.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Anna, we’re excited to share that the star bread is going to carry us through the holiday season. Not just in its one sweet cinnamon-y form but savory ones too! We think a vibrant green, pesto-filled star bread along with a pizza-inspired, red star are the perfect pairing to bring to a Christmas party. Check out our blog post for more savory inspiration. We plan on resuming our regular one recipe per month bakealong challenge at the start of the new year. Stay tuned! Kye@KAF

  65. Connie Knowlton

    I am planning to make it this week but am thinking that spreading it with Nutella might be a nice variation for those of us who love chocolate.

    Reply
  66. Megan A

    My two sons (ages 9 and 11) each just made one of these for their teachers as a Christmas present. We bake a lot together so they did already have some skills and experience with bread making. They turned out beautifully and the boys had so much fun making them! I’m definitely going to be making this again myself to give as gifts. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It’s our genuine pleasure to be able to share it with you and your sons, Megan. What a great way to make it a double win by preparing it together too! Mollie@KAF

  67. robin jay

    If there is any way to make a recipe more difficult than need be, I will always find it. First, when I put the top layer on, without thinking I also brushed it with the egg. This of course made it sticky and harder to twist the segments. After the first pair I found it was easier to twist one at a time. The ends also didn’t want to stick together as well. It still came out looking pretty fancy!
    Then, when I was washing up the dishes I noticed that I had used a 1/3 cup measure and that didn’t seem quite right. So rechecked recipe and yep, I put a 1/3 cup of dry milk instead of 1/4 cup. This didn’t seem to have caused any problem though, and I still only used the minimum (3/4 c.) of water.
    Also I decided to add some ground pecans on top of the cinnamon-sugar layers just cause we like nuts in everything. They really weren’t noticeable tho so next time I will do with regular chopped pecans. The crunchy sugar on top was a nice touch and extra pretty. I’ve never made cinnamon rolls from scratch before; love em -but it seemed like too much bother for the payout. This is a whole other story! Thank you for sharing this awesome bit of kitchen magic 🙂

    Reply
  68. Michelle Riley

    I made cinnamon star bread this morning and it was a great hit! I made the first one as instructed then made a second one with my own twist. I rolled the layers out to only 9” for a fuller star. In addition to the egg wash, I spread a little butter on the layers. Then added some crushed pecans with the cinnamon and sugar in the layers. Lastly, I sprinkled a little of the mixture on the top before baking. I might try a drizzled icing next time. My son spread a little bit of cream cheese on his piece and was quite happy with it. All in all, thumbs up by everyone.

    Reply
  69. Diane

    I would like to serve this for breakfast. Is there a portion of this that I can do the night before, then finish the raising and baking in the morning?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Diane. We don’t recommend shaping the unbaked loaf, then refrigerating it overnight before baking because the filling leaks out. PJ says, “Better to bake the loaf completely, then rewarm just before serving.” Happy baking! Annabelle@KAF

  70. Joy Williams

    Can I make the dough the night before to rise overnight before shaping? Just want to eliminate more steps on Christmas morning. Also, I have pie filling that I made that is incredible tasting (lots of cinnamon). I was thinking of making this into a “chunky apple sauce” to spread on the layers, and maybe sprinkling dried cranberries on top of it. Thoughts?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Joy, you can indeed replace the first room temp rise with a longer overnight rise in the fridge. It’s worth noting that though it should be risen by the morning, you may find it difficult to roll out until it’s warmed to room temperature. If you’re really looking to save time Christmas morning, we’ve also had good luck prepping the whole thing in advance and freezing it, with only the need to rewarm before serving. We’ve also had good luck with a range of fillings, but we’d caution against anything too chunky and/or too thick of a layer, as both will make the twisting process more difficult. For tips, check out the savory variations we’ve shared. Happy baking and happy holidays! Mollie@KAF

  71. Shari

    I have been looking forward to making this recipe for several weeks. I finally had time this afternoon. I used the roller on my very new Ankarsrum mixer to pull the dough together. I am not sure if I under mixed or over mixed, but the dough barely rose. I am pretty certain my yeast is ok, as I made Pita bread a couple of weeks ago and they were fantastic. Approximately how long should this dough be mixed to achieve a soft smooth dough?

    Anyway, the dough was very tacky after the first rise, but handled pretty well for the roll out. Despite the fact that my rounds were not round the dough was pretty easy to work with after the fact. Unfortunately, i misread the cinnamon, egg and sugar directions and wound up mixing the sugar and cinnamon into the egg. oy vey, now I had a goopy mess on hand, but did not want to waste the ingredients. I brushed the sweet egg mixture onto the layers and proceeded with the cutting and twisting. That part went really well.

    The second rising did not produce a noticeably puffy product, but it went in the oven anyway — oozing goop and all. It took approximately 18 minutes for the center to reach 200° and the end product is a bit gummy but tastes good.

    I will try again soon, but would love a little insight into what the dough should really feel like and how long it should be mixed.

    thanks.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for giving this recipe a bake, Shari. We’re sorry to hear you had trouble with the consistency of the dough. The length of time it takes to fully knead the dough will be different with each machine, but 5-7 minutes on a low-medium speed usually does the trick on a KitchenAid mixer. While this video tip uses a different recipe and demonstrates with a hand-kneaded loaf, the basic properties are the same and may be of some help. When using the roller and scraper on the Ankarsrum, it’s pretty hard to over-knead the dough, much like with kneading by hand, so our best guess is that your dough was under-developed. Try kneading a bit longer next time, using the tactile cues indicated in the video as a guide, and we think you’ll have a much better experience. Keep us posted! Mollie@KAF

  72. Elizabeth Ewashkiw

    This is a fantastic recipe and I have already lost count of how many I’ve made already. We are visiting family for Christmas and I made two cinnamon stars, as well as two SAVOURY stars. I just substituted Worcestershire Sauce for vanilla and used 1/4 c finely diced onion plus 3 Tbsp of mixed herbs of your choice (could be Herbes de Provence, oregano, garlic powder, rosemary, etc,). Potato flour is not available where I live, so I just increased the flour (and included 1 c whole wheat flour). This makes a great silent auction item, anywhere. I also talked my 11 year old granddaughter through making one and hers turned out just as beautiful and delicious. Thank you for my today fav baking project! Merry Christmas from Canada!

    Reply
  73. Joyce Tugel

    Ice storm today – a great reason to stay home and bake. Couldn’t decide whether to make a sweet (cinnamon & sugar) star or a savory (dried tomatoes, basil, cheese and garlic) star – so – made both!

    Reply
  74. Daniel

    I made this for the first time today. I usually view recipes as guide…today, however, I followed the instructions and WOWZERS! This bread looks amazing!!
    I made 2 double batches. On the first set, I topped one with a cream cheese glaze, (I didn’t like the way it looked) and the other one with powder sugar. (Looked good!)
    On the second set, I added a layer of cream cheese glaze on the first and third layer. It looks beautiful!

    This is my new holiday favorite!! Easy and looks awesome!

    Reply
  75. sara.Diba

    hi KAF!
    i’m absolutely engaged with this challenge & want to try it’s taste soon but haven’t access to potato flour or it’s mashed flake.
    so how can i substitute them with fresh mashed potato & what changes should i do in recipe instead?

    happy holiday
    love

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Great question, Sara. Thankfully, we have a blog post all about that called How to Substitute for Potato Flour that acts as a fantastic guide full of great tips for your baking. Hope that helps! Annabelle@KAF

  76. Priscilla

    The Cinnamon Star is spectacular! Thank you. The only hiccup I had was that several of my points pulled apart while it was baking. I thought I’d pinched them together well, but will have to pay better attention next time. Wonderful recipe and directions. It was both easy and forgiving!

    Reply
  77. Nancy Mock

    What a beautiful bread! I made this today to give as a gift tomorrow. I added some cardamom and orange zest to the cinnamon-sugar, and it smelled so lovely coming out of the oven! The step-by-step instructions make this so easy to create. Thanks for the holiday bake-along and Merry Christmas P.J.!!

    Reply
  78. Pauline Johnson

    I made this bread today for our Christmas and it came out perfectly. The bread was soft and almost flakey. The recipe uses a good ratio of cinnamon sugar, ensuring the bread is still soft and not sandy and dry. I am going to make this bread as our part of our Christmas tradition. Thank you for sharing recipe and teaching me how to make it.

    Reply
  79. SAH

    Okay, let me be perfectly clear: I don’t cook. I don’t bake. Period. Of course, I went and married a guy in whose family every woman has claimed a ‘food niche’ for themselves. On holidays and special occasions, these ladies proudly display the results of their carefully-honed skills on the table. Me? I’ve been in charge of doing the dishes for years. When I found this Cinnamon Star recipe I thought I might stand a fighting chance to, literally, bring something to the table. I made one for the first time for Christmas brunch and long story short, I am now *the* yeasted bread person of the family. It was my first attempt at anything edible and it was not only an impressive looking piece, it was actually de-li-cious!

    I will say, I did have some trouble with the dough taking three hours to rise. But I stuck with it and got it done. The clear and reassuring instructions were very easy to follow and the photos a huge help. I enjoyed this baking challenge so much I cannot wait to try the gluten-free version –this time with a bread proofer. 😉

    Reply
  80. Julia of New Hampshire

    I made it, my first time working successfully with a recipe that requires yeast. Bought the yeast cake by mistake, but was able to make it work

    Reply
  81. Candace Courtney

    I cannot thank you enough for the challenges. I just created a cinnamon star bread as a Christmas gift and I feel like a master baker. It got rave reviews for taste from the recipient and I think it looked great.

    Reply
  82. Phyllis Phillips

    I made this a couple of days before Christmas, and it turned out beautifully! I wrapped it in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and froze it. I took it out on Christmas Eve and set it on the counter to thaw, as was suggested, then warmed it in the oven for 15 minutes on Christmas morning. It was scrumptious! I will certainly make again!

    Reply
  83. Arly Corr

    This worked out so beautifully! Made it ahead of time for New Year’s Day breakfast, wrapped it well in fridge, warmed it in oven as directed on the morning of, and now my family wants it for every special occasion (along with NY crumb cake!). I surprised myself with how easy it turned out to be, and tasty. Thank you!

    Reply
  84. Pamela K James

    I made four of them. They were incredibly easy and fun to make. And DELICIOUS.
    I made vanilla bean icing to be dipped or drizzled upon serving. We gave one to the local firehouse getting a rest from working the Thomas Fire in CA. Another went to the local NICU for the nurses on the floor on Christmas morning. The third given to a friend whose husband is in an Alzheimer’s facility, and we kept the final delicious giant cinnamon roll four our Christmas enjoyment. My son liberally drizzled icing in the pattern of the star and it was just that much more beautiful and yummy.

    Reply
  85. Marian

    I take the bottom out of my 10 inch non-stick tart pan and roll the dough circles on top of it, that way I get uniform circles that are easy to flip. I’ve made several of these, including 2 with a pesto filling. All were gorgeous and very popular.

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      That is a great idea, Marian, thank you for sharing! I have taught people who were having a hard time getting a round pizza crust to drape it over the greased back of a stainless steel bowl in similar fashion. Susan

  86. Suzanne

    Wow!
    This is so easy to make and SO tasty!
    Everyone is impressed with this little beauty and I have had more than one person ask me how I did it.
    One comment: “What is this sorcery?!”
    Anyone who asked was directed to this page.
    Because I mean, come on. Everyone needs to know about Cinnamon Star Bread.

    Reply
  87. Carol

    Could you use dry buttermilk powder in place of the dry milk powder or would it change the flavor and/or texture of the dough?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It might add a very slight bit of tang, Carol, but it shouldn’t affect the texture at all, so go right ahead if you prefer! Mollie@KAF

  88. Peggy

    Since we’re confined to the house because of the cold, (we’re in our 70’s), this would be great recipe to try. Could I sprinkle finely ground pecans or walnuts over each layer and about how much would you suggest I sprinkle on each layer???? Thanks for helping breaking the cabin fever and winter boredom. King Arthur to the rescue every time!!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You sure could, Peggy, though we might be more inclined to used finely diced, rather than nuts that are finely ground into flour, so that the layers of dough can still adhere to one another. We don’t have an exact amount to suggest, but just keep in mind that the dough needs to be easily cuttable and twistable, so a light sprinkling of nuts would be easier to work with than a heavier one. You might also consider toasting the nuts lightly before adding them in order to bring out the most flavor. Hope this helps and happy baking! Mollie@KAF

  89. Jennifer Irwin

    I finally found time to make this beautiful and delicious bread. I was surprised how easily it came together even on the first time I tried the recipe. I used bread flour and a tangzhong starter from the Japanese Milk Bread recipe https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/japanese-milk-bread-rolls-recipe and I was amazed by how light and moist the final product turned out, even after the bread was fully cooled (thanks for that tip PJ! – https://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2016/07/10/cinnamon-rolls/) Also, to save time in the morning, I made the dough the night before and allowed it to proof overnight in the fridge (step 3 of the recipe). I am definitely going to make this one again and again.

    Reply
  90. Suzanne

    Is there any way to make this with Nutella/chocolate hazelnut spread? Would it stay put during the rise and/or bake or be a disaster? I promised a Nutella filled coffee cake to someone…

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      A chocolate hazelnut spread is a delightful way to fill the layers of this star bread. Coat the first three dough rounds with a thin layer of the spread (resist using too much to prevent a mess), and then top off the stack with the last layer of dough and bake as directed. Your friend is going to be in for a treat! Kye@KAF

  91. Kate

    Loved baking this, the dough was a joy to work with. The bottom came out a bit soggy but next time I will try baking on the bottom rack. I would like to add raisins too… Would it be better in the filling or mixed in with the dough?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Ooh sounds like a really nice addition, Kate. Raisins in the filling will be absolutely delicious! Annabelle@KAF

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