Christmas Star Twisted Bread
Ingredients (use a kitchen scale for more accurate measurement)
3 and 2/3 cup (450 g) of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (7 g) of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (100 g) of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (250 ml) of Lukewarm milk (105°F / 40°C)
4.5 oz (130 g) of softened unsalted butter
1/3 cup (75 g) of Butter
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons (40 g) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons (40 g) brown sugar
1 cup (100 g) of toasted halves pecans (chopped)
1 pinch of salt
Simple syrup (optional but recommended)
1/2 cup (100 ml) water
1/4 cup (50 g) of white sugar
Powdered sugar for dusting
Red Sprinkles (optional)
Before you start, make sure you have softened butter for the filling and the dough.
Pro tip: If you cut the needed amount in thin slices, it will soften faster :).
Roast the halves pecans for about 15 minutes at 300°F /150°C and let them cool down before chopping.
- Make the filling:
In a medium bowl, mix the softened butter, spices, and brown sugar, granulated sugar, and set aside.
- Make the dough
In a big bowl, mix the flour, yeast, cardamom, cinnamon, sugar, and salt.
Pour in the milk and the softened butter, then roughly mix with a spatula or wooden spoon. Now it’s time to use your hands to assemble the dough.
Turn the dough onto a clean surface and knead with your hands for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, soft, and elastic (You can also use a stand mixer).
- Roll out the star bread.
Divide the dough into two equal balls. Place each ball on parchment paper.
Roll each piece into about an 11-inch (28 cm) circle. This star bread has two layers, so you need two circles.
Spread the filling mixture across the dough’s surface, sprinkle with the chopped pecans, then top with the second circle of dough.
For an even circle, use the base of a 10-inch cake pan or a big plate and cut the dough with a pizza cutter, knife, or bench knife. Save the edges around the circle as you can make some buns.
Put a star-shaped cookie cutter in the center of the dough circle and cut. With a bench knife or sharp knife, cut the circle into 16 equal strips.
- Twist the star bread
With one hand, pick up one strip of the dough and twist 2 times clockwise, then take another strip and twist 2 times counterclockwise, and lastly, press the two ends together. (These should be twisted in opposite directions.)
Repeat with the remaining strips, so your star bread will end up with 8 points.
Place the star bread onto a baking sheet. Cover the shaped bread and let it rise for 2 hours.
One hour before baking, you can make the simple syrup.
- Bake the star bread
Preheat the oven at 395°F( 200°C), and just before baking, brush with egg wash.
Bake the star bread for about 15 -17 minutes, depending on your oven. Don’t overbake, or you will end up with a dry bread star.
Pro tip: Brushing with egg wash before baking and brushing with simple syrup just after the baking result in a nice shiny golden star.
Just after you take out the bread star from the oven, brush with simple syrup and let it cool off. Dust with powdered sugar and red sprinkles just before serving.