Soft and fluffy Pull Apart Christmas Bread with a sweet and sticky brown sugar cinnamon roll centre! An amazing dessert for your holiday celebrations!
Course: Bread, Desserts
Keyword: Christmas bread
200mlmilk(plus 50ml extra only if needed)
1oz(30 g) butter(1 1/2 tablespoons)
1/4oz (7 g) instant yeast(1 envelope or 2 1/4 teaspoon)
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
16oz(450 g) bread flour,(plain or all-purpose flour are fine to use)
2.5oz(70 g) white granulated sugar
2largeegg yolksrefrigerate the whites for brushing
6tablespoonssoftened unsalted butter
1/3cuplight brown sugar,lightly packed
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!