Apple Pull-Apart Bread is an ooey-gooey homemade bread that is filled with spiced apples and topped with a sweet glaze.
Pull-apart bread goes by many names, like monkey bread, bubble loaf, sticky bread, and few more. But, whatever you call this bread, it’s so delicious! It is meant to be shareable, but once you ‘pull apart’? your own piece, it will be hard not to eat the entire loaf yourself!
You may see a lot of pull-apart bread made in a bundt cake pan, but I made this Apple Pull-Apart Bread in a loaf pan. You can really use any pan you have on hand, just be sure to watch the bake time to make sure the center is completely cooked.
There are three important parts to this recipe–the apple filling, the bread dough, and the glaze.
Apple Filling Ingredients (full recipe below)
- Granny Smith apples
- Brown sugar
Bread Dough Ingredients
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Instant yeast
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ sugar
The first thing you will want to do for this recipe is peel, core, and dice your apples. For this recipe, dice the apples on the smaller side. In a bowl, combine the chopped apples with the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, making sure to coat each apple piece. Set this aside while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
I used Granny Smith apples for the recipe because they remain firm when baking. They won’t turn to mush and they tend to retain their shape when baked. A few other options you could try would be Honeycrisp apples, Braeburn, or Pink Lady apples.
Pull-Apart Bread Dough
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast using the dough hook attachment. With the mixer on low, slowly add the butter, milk, water, vanilla, and then eggs. Turn the mixer on medium-low and knead until the dough is soft and smooth (about 2 minutes). If it seems too dry add a little water, if it seems too sticky add just a little flour, up to a 1/4 cup. Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise for about an hour.
Rolling Out and Filling the Dough
After the dough has had time to rise to double its size, it’s time to roll it out. Gently deflate the dough and place it on a floured work surface. Roll the dough out to about a 12×20-inch rectangle.
Spread the apple filling over the entire top of the dough, making sure to get it all the way to the edges.
Cutting and Assembling the Apple Pull-Apart Bread
Cut the dough into strips with a long knife. Make sure you have a knife that is long and sharp as well as wide enough that you could use it to move the long pieces of dough over to the stack.
After you cut all the strips, start stacking them on top of one another. This was indeed a messy process, but with all the cinnamon and sugar making my kitchen smell great, I knew it would be worth the mess. Then, after all the strips are stacked, cut 3-4 inch sections out of the stack.
Finally, start setting the sections into the pan making sure that the dough is upright, or stacking horizontally, not vertically. Grab all the leftover pieces and throw them on top of the bread before baking! Cover the loaf with a clean towel and let it rise again for 30-60 minutes. (I know…more waiting, but it will be worth it!)
After the hour, bake the bread for 45-55 minutes, tenting it with aluminum foil after the first 30 minutes. You will know the bread is done if a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs on it, but no batter.
Making the Glaze
To make the glaze, simply combine the confectioners’ sugar and 3 teaspoons of water. Add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until a pourable consistency is reached. Pour the glaze over the cooled bread.
Can I Make Apple Pull-Apart Bread ahead of Time?
Yes! You can make this the night before. Well, some of it! Right after you make the dough you can place it in the fridge overnight. Just remove it and allow it to come to room temperature in the morning, then continue the recipe as directed.
- 3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ½ cup (100g) packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ⅓ cup lukewarm milk
- ¼ cup lukewarm water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3-5 teaspoons water
In a medium bowl, combine the apples, melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir to combine, set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
With the mixer on low, slowly add butter, milk, water, vanilla, and then eggs. Turn the mixer on medium-low and knead until the dough is soft and smooth (about 2 minutes). If it seems too dry add a little water, if it seems too sticky add just a little flour, up to a 1/4 cup.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Grease a 12″ x 4.5″ loaf pan. (You can also use an 8×5 pan or smaller, you will just need to equally divide the dough between the pans.)
Gently deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll the dough into a 12″ x 20″ rectangle.
Spread the apple filling over the entire top on the dough.
Cut the dough crosswise into six 3 1/2″ x 12″ strips.
Stack the strips on top of one another.
Cut the stack into six pieces, about 2″ x 3 1/2″ each.
Turn the pieces on edge, and place them in the loaf pan one in front of the other from one end of the pan to the other, squeezing them in tight. I sprinkled any pieces of apple that had fallen off over the top of the dough after I put it into the pan.
Cover the pan and allow the loaf to rise for 30 to 60 minutes until it’s almost doubled in size. While the loaf is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the loaf for 45 to 55 minutes in the center of the oven, tenting it with foil after 30 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before turning it out of the pan to cool completely.
As the bread is cooling, make the glaze.
Make the glaze by combining the confectioners’ sugar and 3 teaspoons of water. Add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until a pourable consistency is reached. Pour the glaze over the cooled bread.