Star Bread is a show-stopping centerpiece for any table
Star Bread! Have you heard of it? I hadn’t. But when I started collaborating with my friend Emily on our upcoming saffron recipe project, she suggested that I create a recipe for it. This made me fly high into the Star Bread galaxy, which is vast and delicious I might add.
What is Star Bread
At it’s most basic, this bread is a delicious solution when you want to make a pull-apart bread, but elevate it to the next level. Its star shape has three layers and eight points. And you stuff each layer with a sweet or savory filling. It is perfect for the holidays or if you just need a show stopping centerpiece for your table. When I cook brunches for my Los Angeles personal chef clients, I always ask them if they want one on their buffet.
Versatile dough and filling
You can play around with the dough and the fillings. For our saffron recipe project, I infused the dough with saffron. For this recipe, I created a dough enriched with butter, eggs, vanilla, and a bit of sugar. The filling is an aromatic blend of spices, raisins, and sugar. This is where you can let your creativity shine and adapt the recipe to incorporate some of your favorite ingredients. If you wanted something more savory, you could play around with a more basic dough, and stuff it with cheese, herbs, or even pesto.
Shaping your bread
The technique for creating the layers and points of your Star Bread may seem intimidating at first. But you’ll get a feel for it quickly. You start by rolling out one of your dough balls on a piece of parchment paper into a 10-inch circle, and fill it. Then on another piece of parchment, roll out your second dough ball into a 10-inch circle. Using the parchment, you lay that dough circle over the first one, lining them up as closely as possible. This doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect because you’ll trim it once you’re finished, but it should be close. Then you repeat until the top layer.
Cinnamon Raisin Star Bread
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup warm milk
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk with 1 teaspoon milk (for egg wash)
- 1/8 cup cornmeal (optional)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup rasins
- 1 large egg beaten
Make the yeast bloom
- Combine 1 tablespoon sugar with 2 teaspoons yeast in 1/2 cup of warm milk (100º-110ºF)
- Cover, and allow to sit at room temperature until yeast is dissolved and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Make the bread dough
- Grease a mixing bowl with oil and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, water, butter, vanilla extract, sugar, salt, and yeast bloom at low speed until the dough comes together.
- Continue mixing until a soft smooth dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. You can do this by hand, as well, and just knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to the greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a towel, and let it rise in a warm spot for 60 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
- After the first rise, on a clean and lightly floured working surface, divide the dough into four equal parts and shape into spheres.
- Cover and set aside to rise in a warm spot for 15 minutes.
Make the filling
- Prepare the filling by combining sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in one bowl. In another bowl beat the egg. Have raisins on hand.
Build the bread
- Dust some cornmeal or flour on a sheet of parchment paper to keep the dough from sticking.
- Take one of the dough balls and roll it out on a piece of parchment paper into a roughly 10-inch circle.
- Brush surface with egg wash, then sprinkle the cinnamon-spice mixture, leaving a 1-inch border empty.
- Top with 1/3 of the raisin-pine nut mixture.
- Take a second dough ball and roll it out onto another piece of parchment paper, then flip it upside down on top of the first sheet of dough, peeling off the top layer of parchment paper and pressing around the edges gently to seal the two layers of dough together.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon-spice mixture, leaving a 1-inch border empty.
- Top with 1/3 of the raisin-pine nut mixture. Repeat this process one more time so that you have three layers stacked on top of one another.
- Roll out the fourth and last dough ball onto a piece of parchment paper, then flip it upside down on top of the third sheet of dough, peeling off the top layer of parchment paper and pressing around the edges gently to seal the two layers of dough together. Don't top this layer with anything.
- Place a 2 1/2 to 3-inch ring mold or jar lid in the center of the circle as a guide, and cut the circle into 16 equally-sized slices (using a dough scraper or pizza cutter works well for this step), leaving the center connected.
- Twist the slices in pairs away from each other twice. Then pinch the ends of each pair together.
- Cover and set the star aside to rise for 20 minutes in a warm spot.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Beat the egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water or milk.
- Transfer the saffron star onto a baking sheet and lightly brush the star with the egg wash.
- Bake in the oven until deeply golden and puffy, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove and let cool on a cooking rack.
2 1/2 to 3-inch ring mold or jar lid
Cinnamon Raisin Star Bread
Amount Per Serving:
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 7.86 g||10.8%|
|Saturated Fat 4.39 g||20%|
|Trans Fat 0.24 g|
|Cholesterol 58.3 mg||19.3%|
|Sodium 211.82 mg||8.8%|
|Total Carbohydrate 43.18 g||14.3%|
|Dietary Fiber 1.87 g||4%|
|Sugars 10.4 g|
|Protein 6.25 g|
|Vitamin A 8.04 %||Vitamin C 0.03 %|
|Calcium 3.96 %||Iron 12.2 %|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Sweet Greek Personal Chef and Culinary Services Los Angeles, CA