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pastry dough topped with orange cinnamon topping
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5 from 6 votes

Orange Cinnamon Vanilla Pastry

If you like breakfast pastries, then you are going to love this delicious Orange Cinnamon Vanilla Pastry! Made from a challah recipe from artisan bread in five minutes, it couldn't be easier to make and more delicious.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Rise and Refrigerations5 hrs
Total Time50 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, brunch pastry, challah, no knead dough, pastry
Servings: 6
Calories: 551kcal
Author: Chef Dennis Littley


Dough (will yield 3 Twisted Sisters)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 3/4 Tbsp . granulated yeast
  • 3/4 Tbsp . kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Filling (will yield filling for one twisted sister)

  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon *use 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon if not using Vietnamese cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • inch fresh vanilla beans from a 2 pod
  • 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • zest of one orange



  • Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl.
  • Add honey and melted butter to beaten eggs. Gently and briefly mix together then set aside.
  • Combine lukewarm water, yeast and salt together in a 3 quart container using a sturdy fork or whisk. Add eggs, butter, honey mixture. Mix together briefly.
  • Add half the flour. Mix it in with a fork or sturdy whisk. Add the remaining flour and mix. Use damp hands once your fork or whisk becomes overburdened. The dough will be damp and sticky. This is a no knead dough so just get all the flour mixed in and you’re done.
  • Place dough in a warm spot, covered but not closed (you want air flow) for three hours. The dough will rise and be full of air pockets. Perfect!
  • Refrigerate for approximately two hours for dough that is easier to handle. If you want to make pastry immediately the dough can be used at this point before refrigerating. Dough will be easier to handle once chilled but it will also need to rest for two hours after shaping and before baking.


  • Melt the butter, set aside.
  • Combine cinnamon, allspice, salt and vanilla beans together in a small bowl with a fork. Make sure you get the vanilla beans dispersed and mixed in well.
  • Add the brown sugar and mix with a fork to combine.
  • Zest the orange and set aside.
  • You’ll add the filling in this order: butter, cinnamon and sugar combo, zest.

Assembling the twisted sister

  • Dust top of dough with flour. Dust hands with flour. Covering your work surface generously with flour and some more standing by for sticky moments. Flour!
  • Grab a generous handful of dough. Plop it onto your floured surface.
  • Roll the dough into an oval, turning and keeping the dough well-floured the whole time. Roll out an oval at approximately 16 inches long by 8 inches wide.
  • Spread top with melted butter. Save a little for drizzling on top the coiled twisted sister later.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon, brown, sugar, vanilla and salt mix evenly and generously.
  • Add zest evenly across surface.
  • Fold one long edge to start roll.
  • Roll the dough into a long log.
  • Cut the dough log in half lengthwise.
  • Turn the two halves so that the cut sides face up and you see all the layers of dough and cinnamon and such. Admire your artistry thus far.
  • Pinch ends of the two halves together on one side and coil them a bit to get the two halves joined lightly at one end.
  • Gently cross the ends over each other taking care to arrange the cut sides together as much as possible. Don’t stress. It’s gonna be pretty. Twist the two halves together till you use up the lengths and have one pretty twist.
  • Coil the twist into a nest.
  • Lift the coil up and tuck the final end under the center of the coil then gently let the coil fall into place. You don’t have to do any excessive pinching or sealing. Just arrange it nicely. Think Zen.
  • Use the little bit of melted butter you saved earlier to drizzle over the center of the twisted sister.
  • *If dough has been chilled prior to rolling and shaping then allow the twisted sister to rest in a warm place for two hours before baking.
  • Bake on center rack at 350 degrees for 22-27 minutes. Pastry should be golden on top and feel firm to the touch in the center. Poke the center with your finger and you should feel some resilience.
  • Allow to cool a few minutes and enjoy. It pulls apart or you can slice it into servings.


*Best served fresh but totally good the next day. Store after cooling in a sealed plastic container. Can be reheated.


Calories: 551kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 950mg | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 725IU | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 3.8mg