How to Make an Easy Overnight Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

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This overnight pull-apart bread is buttery, rich and comfortingly delicious. And the best thing about it is that it's hassle-free -- you can easily prepare it the day before and set it to rise overnight. Then all you need to do is place it in the oven and bake it in the morning. How easy it that?

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup plus 4 to 5 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 package / 0.25 ounce / 7 grams instant dried yeast
  • 10.5 ounces / 300 grams all-purpose plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons superfine (caster) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3.5 ounces / 100 grams plus extra 1.5 ounces / 40 grams unsalted butter, very soft at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1.5 ounces / 40 grams cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' (icing) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for the egg wash

Step 1: Measure Your Ingredients

Begin by measuring and preparing all your ingredients.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 2: Activate the Yeast

In a small saucepan set over low heat, bring 1/2 cup of the milk to a lukewarm temperature. Add the yeast, and whisk to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 3: Start the Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Mix in the yeast mixture, followed by the eggs. Then mix on low speed until the dough begins to come together, 2 to 3 minutes.

Once the dough has come together, increase the mixer speed to medium-high, and work the dough until very smooth, 3 to 4 more minutes. Pause every so often to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 4: Add the Butter

Reduce the mixer speed to low, and slowly add 3.5 ounces / 100 grams of the butter, a little at a time over the course of 3 to 4 minutes. When the butter is fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to form a smooth and elastic dough, 4 to 6 minutes longer.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 5: Let the Dough Rise

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm spot for two hours or until doubled in size.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 6: Make the Filling

Meanwhile, prepare the spiced sugar filling by combining the remaining butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside until needed.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 7: Roll Out the Dough

Once the dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface and flour the top. Roll it into a 1/2 inch / 1.3 centimeter thick rectangle.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 8: Spread the Filling

Spread the prepared spiced sugar filling over the face of the dough.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 9: Slice the Dough

Slice the dough vertically into four equal strips then slice in half to form eight equal squares. Layer the squares on top each other and then slice the stack in half.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 10: Stack the Squares

Arrange and stack the dough squares into a 9 inch / 22 centimeter baking parchment paper lined loaf pan so that it fills two thirds of the way. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill out and slow-rise overnight.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 11: Bake

The next morning, pre-heat the oven to 350 F / 170 C. Brush the loaf with the egg wash and bake until golden and the filling is bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool in its pan before inverting onto a wire rack to let cool completely.

Step 12: Glaze

Whilst the bread is baking, make the glaze by beating together the cream cheese on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners' (icing) sugar and beat until just combined. Add in the vanilla followed by the remaining milk and beat until you reach your desired consistency.

Tip

  • If the glaze is too thick, add 1 tablespoon more milk at a time until it is smooth enough to drizzle.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 13: Drizzle

When the pull-apart bread has slightly cooled to room temperature, drizzle it with the cream cheese glaze.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 14: Serve

Serve and enjoy the pull-apart bread! The bread is best eaten within two days. Store covered at room temperature.

(Image: Thalia Ho)
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