This Christmas Star Bread is delicious any time of year so don’t be afraid to make it year round.
I have made this in a few flavours. The red filling does make it very ‘Christmassy’ but I can also vouch for a Dulce de Leche filling and Cinnamon and Sugar.
I used this Pear Cranberry Butter for the Christmas version. It takes a while to cook down to the butter stage but it freezes well and you can make a batch if you like. It also makes a very welcome gift from the kitchen!
If you don’t have the time or inclination to make the Pear Cranberry Butter you can use seedless raspberry jam if you want to keep the red effect. Actually any seedless jam works well here.
This recipe is actually quite forgiving. The star points can get a bit wonky but no one will mind when they taste it!
The recipe makes 2 8″ star breads. I happened to make 1 Dulce de Leche flavoured and 1 Cranbery Pear Butter. I make the dough on the Quick Cycle in my bread machine. That makes it so easy you have time to fuss a bit with the filling and twisting.
I am not the most accurate person when ‘eyeing’ things so I weigh my dough and cut it in half to start. Then each half gets cut in to equal quarters.
You then roll each quarter out in to an 8″ round. You will put your flavouring on 3 of the rounds, stack them and then top the stack with the last round.
You can either prep your stack carefully right on your prepared backing sheet or, if you have a big spatula or pizza peel, you can move your stack to your parchment. Just be sure to do it before you start cutting the spokes or you risk it falling apart when you try to move it.
Look for a small glass about 1 1/2″ round to center on the pile. Then you can start cutting your spokes out evenly around the glass center. Start by cutting the wheel into thirds, then cut each third in half and in half again so you end up with 12 dough spokes.
To make the star points you are going to take 2 adjacent spokes and gently give them 2-3 turns in toward each other. Wet you fingertips and gently pinch the end together to form a point. Make sure there is no space down the middle of each point after you are done twisting and shaping.
It is going to rise again for about 30 minutes and then in to the oven it goes. Bake for about 20 minutes. I was worried my center might not be fully cooked but I did a temperature test and it was over 200 degrees… so fully cooked. The dough is sweet so it tends to darken a fair bit after the 20 minutes so watch it carefully.
Enjoy with your morning coffee or a Christmas mimosa!
Bread Machine Christmas Star Bread With Pear Cranberry utter
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 egg
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
- 9 Tbsps Pear Cranberry Butter See Note 1 below for substitutions.
- 2 Tbsps sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
- Mix wet ingredients till well blended in a small bowl.
- Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Add ingredients to your Bread machine in the order recommended by the Manufacturer. Mine is wet, then dry and yeast sprinkled on top.
- Set machine to Quick Cycle. (Whichever cycle will give you about an 8 minute knead and a 1 hour rise. Be ready to remove dough to a separate bowl if you have to intervene in a bread cycle of your machine.)
- Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove dough and divide in to 2 equal portions. (This will make 2 Star Breads. You can bake both right away or keep the dough 24 hours in the fridge.)
- Then divide each half in to 4 equal portions.
- Roll each portion into about an 8" circle on a lightly floured board. Don't be too concerned if your circles are not 100% the same. You can true them up a bit as you spread the filling and the twisting later will hide some flaws.
- Working on your parchment covered baking tray, coat 3 circles with Pear Cranberry Butter to within 1/2" of the outer edge. Coat and assemble the layers right on your baking sheet because it is difficult to move the dough later, especially after you have cut the spokes. (You can use any jam or jelly you like instead of the Pear Butter.) Mix the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle a generous teaspoon evenly over each Cranberry Pear layer.
- Center a glass about 1 1/2" in diameter in the middle of the circles. With a sharp knife make 3 equidistance slices out from the glass to the outer edge. Be sure to slice through all layers of the dough but not through the parchment paper. Slice each third in half and then each sixth in half till you have 12 equal 'spokes'.
- Take 2 adjacent 'spokes' and gently give 3 twists toward each other. Gently pinch the ends together. Use wet fingers if needed to help adhere. You will end up with 6 star points.
- Cover and let rise about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Bake stars 20 minutes. Remove from the oven when done and allow to cool.
- When completely cool, dust with icing sugar and serve.