With this step-by-step recipe, anyone (beginners included) can bake an amazing loaf of holiday bread, even if you’ve never made bread from scratch, brought to us by Ahead Of Thyme.
- 160 grams milk (⅔ cup)
- 50 grams granulated sugar (¼ cup)
- 3 grams active dry yeast (1 teaspoon)
- 1 large egg
- 50 grams softened butter (¼ cup), cut into ½-inch cubes (or melted butter)
- 310 grams all-purpose flour (2 + ½ cups)
- 6 grams salt (1 teaspoon)
- 1 large egg (for egg wash)
For the filling:
- ⅓ cup butter, softened
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
Make the Dough:
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together milk, sugar, yeast, and egg until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, add flour, butter and salt and mix well with a spatula.
- Pour in the wet mixture and stir well to combine until it forms a shaggy dough, scraping down the sides of the bowl (there should be no dry flour particles visible).
- Knead the dough on a clean lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until it changes from a sticky shaggy dough into a smooth and soft dough ball. Apply a little bit of oil or butter in your hands if needed.
- A well kneaded dough is smooth and can hold its shape. Also, when you give the dough ball a firm poke with your finger, the indentation should bounce right back. If it doesn’t bounce back and stays like a dimple, keep kneading for a few minutes.
- Cover the bowl with plastic cling wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature (preferably in a warmer area) for 1 hour until doubled.
Shape the Star Bread:
- Flatten the dough and divide it into 4 equal pieces with a bench scraper. Shape into smooth balls by cupping the dough in your palm and making circular motions. It should take less than 30 seconds to roll each piece into a smooth ball.
- Use a rolling pin to roll each dough ball into a 10-inch circle, approximately. Place one dough circle on a piece of parchment paper. Spread 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar evenly on top.
- Stack the next dough circle on top and stretch it so that the two dough circles align on the edges. Spread the same amount of butter and sugar on top.
- Repeat the step until 4 layers of dough are stacked evenly with the filling (the top layer will not have any butter or sugar on top).
- Place a 3-inch round object such as a round cookie cutter or rim of a glass in the center to make an indent, which becomes the center of the star.
- Cut the dough into 16 evenly spaced strips with a pizza cutter or knife. Make sure all the layers are cut through.
- Take two strips at a time and twist them away from each other twice, then press the two bottom ends together to make a point. Repeat the twisting until the star bread forms 8 points.
- Cover the star bread loosely with plastic cling wrap and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes until almost doubled.
Bake the Star Bread:
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Transfer the star bread with the parchment paper onto a large half sheet baking pan. Brush with egg wash evenly on top.
- Bake for 25 minutes until the top turns golden brown.
- Allow the star bread cool for 10 minutes, then serve. Dust with confectioners’ sugar on top (optional).