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5 from 18 votes

Star Christmas Bread

Soft and fluffy Pull Apart Christmas Bread with a sweet and sticky brown sugar cinnamon roll centre! An amazing dessert for your holiday celebrations!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Bread, Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas bread
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 408kcal
Author: Karina

Ingredients

BREAD:

  • 200 ml milk (plus 50ml extra only if needed)
  • 1 oz (30 g) butter (1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 oz (7 g) instant yeast (1 envelope or 2 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 16 oz (450 g) bread flour, (plain or all-purpose flour are fine to use)
  • 2.5 oz (70 g) white granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg yolks refrigerate the whites for brushing

FILLING:

  • 6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

BREAD:

  • Heat 200ml of milk and butter together in a microwave or saucepan until temperature reaches 110°F or 45°C (warm to the touch). Add the yeast and let stand for 10 minutes, until frothy on top.
  • While yeast is activating, combine flour, sugar and salt in a separate bowl.
  • Create a well in the centre of the flour. Add the yeast mixture, egg yolks and vanilla into the well. Mix into the flour until combined.
  • Knead by hand for 10-12 minutes until dough is soft and elastic. If the dough is too dry: warm up the extra milk, create a well in the dough and add in half of the milk. Knead and if you still feel it's still too dry, add in the remaining amount of milk.
    FOR A STAND MIXER: Mix for 5 minutes on medium speed until dough is soft and elastic.

RISE:

  • Lightly oil a large bowl with a pastry brush or your fingertips. Place dough into bowl, turning once to coat in the oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for about 2-3 hours, or until doubled in size.
    (To check if dough is ready, gently press two fingers into dough. If an indentation remains, dough has not risen enough.) 
  • Punch dough down, cover and let rest for an additional 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • While dough is rising, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

PREPARE FILLING:

  • Get your butter ready, make sure it is softened and spreadable. Then, in a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

DIVIDE INTO STRANDS:

  • When dough is ready, divide the dough into 4 pieces. Lightly flour a clean work surface and use a rolling pin to roll one ball out into a 12 inch/30 cm disc. 
  • Place a plate on top and cut away any excess dough around the plate with a sharp knife. Remove the plate. Place dough disc onto prepared baking sheet.

LAYER:

  • Spread dough with 1/3 of the softened butter and 1/3 of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. This is your bottom layer (the base).
  • Roll out the second ball of dough, like above, and place on top of the bottom layer. Spread with 1/3 of the butter and brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
    Repeat with the rest of the dough, layering each with butter/sugar/cinnamon. (The top dough will not have any butter or brown sugar/cinnamon on it.)

SHAPE INTO A FLOWER/STAR:

  • Place a small cup in the middle of the layered dough and very lightly mark a ring in the centre to use as a guide. 
  • Cut the dough first with four lines: 3 o’clock, 6o’clock, 9o’clock and 12 o’clock. Cut each quarter into 2 pieces, then cut each of those into 2 pieces so you end up with 16 strands connected to the middle circle.
  • Take 2 strands that are side-by-side and twist them away from each other two times. Connect the two strands at the end, pinching the ends together to form a point. Do this with all of the strands and create a star flower!
  • Cover star bread loosely with a damp cloth or towel and let rest one more time for 30 minutes.

BAKE:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Beat egg whites leftover from the yolk and brush whites evenly over the surface of the bread. 
  • Bake bread for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and golden.
  • Decorate with powdered sugar (confectioners sugar or icing sugar), and a little ground cinnamon.
    Serve warm!

Nutrition

Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 0.8mg