The Star Bread is beautifully shaped like a Christmas star. Fill it with your favorite jam or spread and enjoy on Christmas morning!
I was planning to record the making of this Star Bread into a video tutorial, but stuff happened and before I knew it, Christmas was right around the corner! I was afraid at first that I wasn’t going to be able to share anything here for the holidays, but I somehow managed to squeeze in a spot of baking one Sunday morning. Of course, I had to make this Star Bread, even sans the video, because I’ve been excited to make it for a while now.
I mean, just look at how pretty it is! I can’t think of a more appropriate bread to make and eat for Christmas other than one that looks like a Christmas star lantern or parol, as we call it here. There are now officially two breads that are my favorites to make for Christmas: the first being the panettone, and the second being the Star Bread.
[READ ALSO: My first Panettone Recipe]
I fell in love with the Star Bread the first time I saw it. It was some time during the middle of the year, I believe. I bookmarked it as a Christmas recipe I must share this year, and it turns out it will be one of the few haha! It’s a type of pull-apart bread that is perfect for sharing on any holiday table, but preferably during breakfast, when the whole family is gathered at the table with piping hot mugs of coffee in hand.
What I really love about this Star Bread though is its customizability. You can fill it with anything under the sun! You can use your favorite jam or spread, go sweet or savory. I decided to use Coco Natura‘s Coco Jam for my Star Bread just because it’s one of my favorite Filipino jams. (This ain’t a plus. I just really like that stuff.) It was a really great change from the usual fillings I use, like Nutella or chocolate spreads.
The only thing you really need to worry about is the dough, which is pretty dang easy to make. You do have to watch the dough as you knead it though, to make sure you are using the right amount of water. My dough was a little drier than I would’ve liked after baking, and in hindsight I feel like I should’ve used a full 1 cup of milk for the dough. The original recipe calls for just 3/4 cup, but I found my dough to be quite stiff using that amount.
The trick is to start with the 3/4 cup, and then add a bit more milk as needed to make the dough soft and elastic. I ended up adding nearly the entire 1/4 cup before I was satisfied with the dough’s texture.
I’ve photographed the process of making this in the recipe box below, but really it’s not as complicated as it looks. You just have to cut through the dough in all the right places, then twist the strands to make the arms of the star. Mine actually looks a little wonky, but I find that I like it looking this way. It adds a homey factor, doesn’t it?
You can also shower it with a little confectioner’s sugar if you like it sweet. The filling should be flavorsome enough though.
Coco Jam Star Bread
- 3½ cups 450 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
- ⅓ cup 70 grams sugar
- 1½ teaspoons 8 grams instant yeast
- Pinch of salt
- 2 egg yolks
- ¾ cup to 1 cup, 180ml to 250 ml milk
- 2 Tablespoons 30 grams butter, softened
- 1 cup around 200 grams coco jam, or your favorite spread
- Egg whites, for brushing the bread
- 1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add in the egg yolks, 3/4 cup milk, and butter. Mix everything with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
- 2. Knead the dough by hand for around 7 minutes, until smooth but still a little sticky. If the dough seems dry as you knead, gradually add the last 1/4 cup of milk little by little, as needed. (I ended up using almost the whole 1/4 cup.) You can also use a stand mixer for easier kneading.
- 3. Shape the dough into a round and place inside a lightly greased bowl. Cover with clingwrap or kitchen towel, then allow to rise for 40 minutes or more in a warm and dry place. It should double in size.
- 4. About 20 minutes before the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Make sure your jam is also at room temperature or in a spreadable consistency. Prepare a 9-inch cake pan.
- 5. Once the dough has doubled in bulk, punch down and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for around 1 minute then divide it into 4 equal parts. Shape each into a ball.
- 6. Roll the first part into a round that is a little over 9 inches in diameter (about 2 to 3 mm thick), then place on a piece of baking paper. Press a 9-inch cake pan on the surface of the dough to mark it. This will be your first layer. Spread coco jam generously inside the marked circle.
- 7. Roll another layer of dough into a round roughly the same size as your first. Place this second layer on top of the previous one, using the cake tin to mark the dough once again. (Try to make it as even with the layer underneath as possible.) Once again, spread the coco jam on the marked area. Repeat the procedure with the third layer.
- 8. For the last potion of dough, roll out into the same size circle and place on top. Using the cake tin as a guide, cut out the excess dough for all the four layers with a knife.
- 9. Now grab a glass or coffee cup with a small opening. Place it on the center of the round dough, and using it as a guide to keep the center of the dough intact, slice through the round to divide it into quarters. Divide every quarter into four equal parts, until you have 16 equal parts.
- 10. Take two of the "arms" you've sliced, lift them up, then twist them at least twice in the opposite direction. When you lay them down, you should have a sort of pointed end. Repeat the pairing and twisting process until you form a star bread with eight arms. You might need to pinch the pointed ends of the twisted breads against each other to keep them from unwinding.
- 11. Place the parchment paper with the formed star bread onto a baking tray, then brush the bread's surface with the reserved egg white. Bake in the preheated oven at 350°F (180°C) for around 15 to 20 minutes. If you want a toasted brown bread surface, you can turn on the broiler of your oven during the last 10 minutes of baking.