This fanciful holiday bread made it into our newest book, Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and it is one of the prettiest, easiest and most sensational breads to make for a family gathering or work party.
This Holiday Star Bread has been making the rounds all over social media, so I decided to try it with some of our no-knead Challah dough. I’m happy to report that it works quite well, and it is not that difficult to make. Most of the recipes online have the same directions for shaping the star, so I borrowed from those when practicing, but substituted pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon just to change things up a bit. We also have a variation with jam, but Nutella or many other fillings would be fun, so if you are interested in playing around with recipe, there is room for your own interpretation. If you do end up making this bread and post on social media, tag #breadin5 so we can see your creations! You can also find us on Instagram at @breadin5.
Holiday Star Bread
2 pounds Challah, Amish Milk Dough or our White Bread Master dough (from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day) (Brioche dough, too) -the enriched doughs will produce a richer bread
Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water and a pinch of salt)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon will work, too)
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting (if desired)
Divide the Challah into four equal pieces. Roll the pieces into balls, and let rest for 20 minutes, covering with plastic wrap.
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
With a rolling pin, roll out all the dough balls into 10-inch circles. Place one of the circles on a piece of parchment paper. Brush with some of the egg wash with a pastry brush, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the sugar mixture.
Place another circle on top of the first circle, and brush with egg wash and sprinkle with another 1/3 of sugar. Repeat with one more circle, then place the final circle on top.
Place a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter (or other round object) in the center of the circle, and then use a bench scraper to cut the circle into 16 equal strips (starting at the circle and out to the end), cutting through all the layers.
Take two pieces of dough, and twist them away from each other twice. Repeat around the whole circle.
Pinch the ends of the pairs of strips firmly together to create the star (you should end up with 8 points).
Remove the biscuit cutter. Transfer the star on the parchment to baking sheet. Cover the star gently with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until a bit puffy. During this time, preheat the oven to 400F. Before putting into the oven, brush the star with egg wash. Bake for 20-35 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Best eaten the day it’s made.