Cinnamon Star Bread
This recipe is a bit of a mishmash, so the ratio of filling to dough may be a little off.
Dough (Cook's Illustrated):
3/4 cup milk at 110°
2 1/4 tsp yeast
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups (21 1/4 - 22 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulates sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
Filling (Cook's Illustrated):
1 1/2 cups packed (10 1/2 ounces) brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter, softened
Make the dough:
Mix the yeast into the milk until dissolved, then whisk in the eggs.
Using a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, salt, sugar and cornstarch on low speed until combined.
Add the milk mixture in a steady stream and mix until a dough comes together, about 1 minute.
Increase speed to medium, then add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until incorporated.
Keep mixing until the dough becomes smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. (If the dough is too sticky, add up to 1/4 cup additional flour, 1 tbsp at a time, until the dough releases from the bowl.)
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter, and knead into a smooth round ball. Place in a greased bowl, cover and transfer to the middle rack of the oven (unheated). Pour 3 cups of boiling water into a loaf pan in the oven, close the door, and let the dough rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
Make the filling:
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling by combining the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
Shape the bread:
When the dough is doubled, gently deflate and divide into 4 equal pieces. Form into smooth balls, cover, and let rest 15 minutes.
On a lightly greased or floured surface, roll one piece of dough into a 10" circle. Place on a cookie sheet prepared with a silpat or parchment paper. Gently spread with a third of the softened butter, then sprinkle one third of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the butter, leaving a 1/4" border at the edge of the dough.
Repeat with each ball of dough and remaining filling to form a stack 4 disks high, with the top circle bare.
Place a 2 1/2" or 3" round biscuit cutter in the middle of the rounds (but don't cut). Using a bench cutter or sharp knife, cut the circle into 16 equal strips, starting from the biscuit cutter to the edge of the dough. Remove the biscuit cutter.
Pick two adjacent strips to start, and using two hands (one in each hand), twist the strips away from each other a total of 3 times. Then pinch the ends of the two strips together. Repeat with all strips.
Cover the star and let rise until puffy, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
When the dough is ready, brush with a light coating of beaten egg. Bake for 15 to 30 minutes (center should register 200° on an instant read thermometer) (see Notes).
Let cool, then serve.
- Inspired by a King Arthur recipe, however I prefer the dough from Cook's Illustrated Cinnamon Rolls, as the King Arthur dough came out a bit dry.
- The star bread will take a LOT LESS filling than the cinnamon rolls but go ahead and stuff as much in there as you can. I used the King Arthur filling, but next time I'll try the full cinammon bun filling (butter and all).
- If you want to make a savory version of this bread, try using the King Arthur recipe, as the Cook's Illustrated dough may be too sweet.
- I'm still narrowing in on the baking time; King Arthur calls for 12 minutes while Cook's Illustrated asks for 35 to 40 minutes, so check the bread early and often. You can cover it with aluminum foil if it's browning too quickly.