Star Bread

So this winter I wanted to really embrace the cold and just love this season of the year. So I decided to study and learn about Hygge (hoo-ga), the danish art of happiness. It is all about comfort, light, family time, enjoying the moment and eating yummy food. I would highly recommend reading up more about it! So I decided that for my monthly ladies night with my friends, I would try to make this Star Bread. Now it looks pretty complicated but really it’s not bad! All you do is cut some lines around a circle and twist!! (You can follow Sally’sbakingaddiction.com for pictures of how to do it or just follow her instructions below! Also you can google “tasty star bread” and the YouTube channel has a video showing the steps that are very similar, they just use a different filling and don’t crease the ends together after twisting them.)

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened to
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 and 1/3 cups flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 2 Tablespoons powder sugar
  • Filling:

Cinnamon Sugar: Spread 1 Tablespoon of very soft unsalted butter onto each of the 3 circles. Mix 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over butter on each circle.

Directions

  1. Make the dough: Place the yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave until warm to touch, about 110°F. Pour warm milk on top of yeast/sugar. Whisk gently to combine, then loosely cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. The mixture should be frothy.
  2. If you do not have a mixer, you can mix by hand in this step. Add the butter, egg, flour, and salt. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Dough will be soft. Using lightly floured hands, form it into a ball. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add 1-3 more Tablespoons of flour, but you want a very soft dough.
  1. Place the dough in a greased bowl (nonstick spray is fine) and cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place in a slightly warm environment to rise until doubled in size, around 60-90 minutes. For this warm spot, I suggest using the oven. Preheat to 150°F, then turn the oven off after preheating. Place the covered bowl inside and shut the oven door. This is your warm environment.
  2. Prepare filling: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and prepare your star bread filling.
  3. Assemble the bread: Punch down the dough to release the air. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces and, with a floured rolling pin, roll each out into a thin 10-inch circle. Place the bottom circle on prepared baking sheet. If it lost its circle shape, use your hands to form the edges back into a round shape. Top with filling, then layer the remaining circles and filling on top. The top layer does not have filling on it, so only 3 of the 4 circles will be topped with filling. Using a pizza cutter, cut any scraps around the edges so you have an even circle. Place a 3 inch round object or bowl in the center and make an indent. (Don’t push too hard). This is the center of the star. Now it’s time to cut strips from the edge to the center 3-inch circle. Using a pizza cutter, cut 16 even strips. Using both hands, grab two strips and twist them away from each other twice, then press the two ends together to make a point. Your star bread will have 8 points.
  4.  Cover the shaped bread with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  6. Bake the bread: Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the star bread with egg wash. This ensures a beautifully shiny golden brown bread. Bake for about 25- 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. If you notice the top or points browning too quickly, loosely tent the star bread with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Dust confectioners’ sugar on top and enjoy warm. Cover and store leftover star bread at room temperature for 1-2 days.

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