This pull-apart sweet bread is an easy show-stopper to make. Filled with cinnamon-sugar butter which caramelizes, giving the bread a crunch, the middle remains soft and fully. Ideal for a festive breakfast treat.
Prep time: 40 mins
Bake time: 20 mins
Proofing time: 2 - 3 hours
Total time: up to 4 hours
450g Risen Mighty White Bread Flour
200ml warm milk
2 egg yolks (keep the whites for brushing dough)
7g/one packet of instant yeast
1 tsp vanilla essence
70g granulated sugar
pinch of salt
For the filling -
8 tbs unsalted butter
85g of light brown sugar
1 1/2 tbs ground cinnamon
Heat 200ml of milk and butter together in a microwave or saucepan until its warm to the touch.
Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a separate bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix. Add the milk and butter mixture, egg yolks and vanilla into it. Fully incorporate until the dough comes together.
Knead by hand for 10-12 minutes or 5 minutes in a stand mixer until dough is soft and elastic. If the dough feels too dry, warm up a bit of extra milk, create a little well in the dough and add in a dribble. We needed to do this 3 times.
Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough into it, turning once to coat in the oil. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set in a warm place for about 2-3 hours, or until doubled in size.
Check if your dough is ready by gently pressing two fingers into it. If an indentation remains, the dough has not risen enough. When it has, punch the dough down, cover and let rest for an additional 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Now prepare your filling - soften the butter up a little, add the sugar and the cinnamon and mix well. It needs to be fairly liquidy to spread.
When your dough is ready, divide it into 4 pieces. Lightly flour a clean work surface and use a rolling pin to roll each ball out into a 30 cm disc. It should be quite thin.
Using a plate on top cut away any excess dough around the plate with a sharp knife and remove it. The four flattened disks are now ready to use!
Put the first dough disk on a piece of parchment paper and spread a third of the cinnamon butter over it. Make sure it is evenly coated. Place the second disk on top and spread another third of the mixture on it. Repeat again with the third disk and then place the fourth on the top. The top does not have any butter on it.
Now shape the dough - using a small cup, indent a circle in the middle as your guide. Cut from the edge of this circle to the edges with a knife or metal dough scraper, making quarters. Cut in to the quarters to make eight pieces and then cut into the pieces again to make sixteen pieces, connected to the central circle.
Take two strands that are side-by-side and twist them away from each other two or three times. Pinch the ends together to form and point. Do this all the way round to make a star flower. Make sure you keep the strands close to each other - avoid any gaps.
Cover your star bread loosely with a damp tea towel and let rest one more time for 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 175C.
Beat the egg whites together and use them to brush the top of the star bread.
Bake the bread for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and golden. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy.