Friday, January 5, 2018

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Star Bread (Tang Zhong Method 湯種法)

Happy New Year!  Hope you’re having an awesome start to 2018 so far!

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Star Bread (Tang Zhong Method 湯種法)

So sorry for the lack of posts in the past few weeks.  I was going to share this recipe with you before Christmas so that you can make it and share it with your family during the holidays!  Oh well, I guess things don’t always turn out the way we have planned. 

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Star Bread (Tang Zhong Method 湯種法)

This Cinnamon Pull-Apart Star Bread might look fancy, but it’s actually quite easy to shape.  Simply follow my tips and tricks in the video tutorial and I’m sure you’ll agree.  I created this recipe using my favorite bread making method: Tang Zhong Method 湯種法!  Tang Zhong Method is a natural way to make soft and fluffy bread.  Best of all, the bread will stay soft even after a few days.  Read more about Tang Zhong Method 湯種法 here if you’re interested to learn more.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Star Bread (Tang Zhong Method 湯種法)

This Cinnamon Pull-Apart bread is scrumptious as is, or you can sprinkle some powdered sugar on top to make it extra pretty!  I love that you can see the layers and layers of cinnamon sugar in between the bread.  It totally reminds me of the infamous cinnamon rolls from the mall!  This bread is best served warm, in my opinion.  If you have any leftover bread, simply wrap it up tightly with plastic wrap and store it at room temperature.  To reheat, unwrap and place the bread on a baking pan, loosely tent with a foil and warm it in a 350 F preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes.  To heat it up in the microwave, simply warn each wedge of bread for 20 seconds.    

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Star Bread (Tang Zhong Method 湯種法)

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I hope you enjoy the recipe and tutorial.  Stay tuned for more fun recipe next week!  Wish you all a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2018!

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Star Bread (Tang Zhong Method 湯種法)

Tools and Ingredients Used:
Wooden Spatula with Flat Top (Click here for more information)
Powdered Sugar Shaker
 (Click here for more information)
Active Dry Yeast
 (Click here for more information)
Kitchen Scale
 (Click here for more information)
Round Cookie Cutter Set
 (Click here for more information)
Sharp Pairing Knife
 (Click here for more information)
Baking Sheets
 (Click here for more information)
Kerrygold Butter
 (Click here for more information)
Stand Mixer
 (Click here for more information)
Cooling Racks
 (Click here for more information)
Organic All-Purpose Flour
 (Click here for more information)
Pastry Brush
 (Click here for more information)
Organic Vanilla Extract
 (Click here for more information)
Organic Ground Cinnamon
 (Click here for more information)
Rolling Pin
 (Click here for more information)
Measuring Spoons Set
 (Click here for more information)
Infrared Thermometer (Click here for more information)

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Cinnamon Pull-Apart Star Bread (Tang Zhong Method 湯種法):

Ingredients for the TangZhong:
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Ingredients for the Bread Dough:
3 oz lukewarm whole milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for the Egg Wash:
1 large egg
2 teaspoons milk

Ingredients for the Cinnamon Sugar:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

To Prepare The TangZhong 湯種:
In a small saucepan, whisk water and flour until no big lumps. Heat mixture over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spatula. When mixture turns into a soft/wet dough consistency and translucent, and reached 65°C (149 °F), remove from heat and let cool completely.

To Prepare the Egg Wash:
In a small bowl, whisk both ingredients until well combined.

To Prepare the Cinnamon Sugar:
In a small bowl, whisk together both ingredients until well combined.

To Prepare the Bread Dough:
Add the yeast into the warm milk along with 1 teaspoon of sugar, stir well and set aside for 5 minutes to let it proof. The mixture should be bubbly and smells yeasty. If not, your yeast might not be alive and you will need fresh ones.

In the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the cooled TangZhong, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, kosher salt, vanilla, the yeast mixture and 2 cups of flour; knead for 5 minutes. (Please read manufacturer’s instruction for dough hook. My machine kneads at speed number 2.)

The dough should pull off the sides of the bowl, if it’s too sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time. Next, add the softened butter, a tablespoon at a time.

I usually alternate by adding a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of the remaining flour. Until the dough is shiny and pulls off the sides of the bowl. Depending on the humidity and moisture in your ingredients. You might need an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour.

Let the stand mixer knead the dough for 10 minutes. When 10 minutes is up, turn off mixer and take a small piece of dough and test the elasticity. When pull the dough between fingers, it should be soft, yet strong, elastic, and translucent.

When dough is ready, knead it a few times to form a ball. Take the dough out from the mixing bowl. Grease the bowl with a little non-stick spray, move the dough around in the greased bowl to moisten both top and bottom of the dough. Place the dough ball back into the bowl, seam side down. Cover the mixing bowl with a plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.

When the dough doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap and gently knead the dough a few times to release the gas. Place a piece of plastic wrap on a kitchen digital scale and weight the dough. Do a little math and divide the total weight by 4.

With a pastry cutter, roughly divide the dough in 4 equal parts. Weigh each one to make sure they are divided evenly. Then, fold the edges of each portioned dough downwards to form a tight ball. Place them seam sides down back into the mixing bowl. Cover with the plastic wrap and let them rest for 15 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 portion of dough into a 10-inch circle. Place the circle on the prepared baking sheet and brush a thin coat of egg wash on the surface. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cinnamon-sugar (about 2 1/2 tablespoons), leaving a 1/4-inch border.

Roll out the 2nd circle the same size and place on top of the filled dough. Repeat the process with egg wash and cinnamon sugar, leaving the top dough surface without egg wash or cinnamon sugar.
Place a 2-inch round cookie cutter in the center of the dough. With a sharp knife, cut the circle into 16 equal strips, from the cutter to the edge of the dough. Make sure to cut through all the layers.

Using both hands, pick up 2 adjacent strips and twist the away from each other twice so that the top is facing up again. Pinch the pairs of strips together at the edges to create a pointy corner for the star shape. Repeat with the remaining strips of dough.

Cover the star loosely with w plastic wrap, then cover with a clean kitchen towel to avoid the dough getting dry. Place in a warm place to proof for another 45 minutes.

While the star is rising, preheat the oven to 350 degree F.

Brush the star with the remaining egg wash. Bake for 22 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Slightly cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.

Amy’s Note: If you have leftover bread, wrap it up tightly with plastic wrap and store at room temperature. It stays fresh for several days. To reheat the bread for serving, unwrap and place it on a baking pan, loosely tent with a foil and place in a preheated 350 F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Or a quick 20 seconds with 1 strip of bread in the microwave.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Star Bread (Tang Zhong Method 湯種法)


  1. Beautiful star bread. You did a great job.

  2. Lush. Delectable.
    This pull-apart bread looks AMAZING. x

  3. Lovely post!

    So delighted to see your post and and its one of my fav comfort food!
    Keep sharing your best and look forward to your future creations and write ups.

    Thanks and much luv

  4. I just baked the bread, and I can say that it is the best bread ever! It's soft and delicious. It's Sweet but not oversweetened, which is just perfect. Definitely recommend the recipe.

  5. In the ingredient list you have "all purpose flour" listed. In the instructions you state "bread flour" which do we use?

    1. Sorry for the confusion. That's because I test the recipe using both types of flours. In the end, there's not much difference between the two, as long as you knead the dough enough to develop the gluten in the flour. So, using all purpose flour is just as good, and it's easier to find than bread flour. Hope that helps.

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  7. Hi, do you have the conversion to grams? Thanks in adv

    1. Sorry, I don't have a conversion to grams written down. But this is the site that I use and it's very helpful.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.