Star shaped bread

I always love a good challenge so when I saw this fancy looking recipe pop-up on my Pinterest, I decided to try it out. The intricate design of the bread intrigued me and the joy of achieving such beautifully shaped bread made it worth the risk of failure.

I’ve heard my friends share their not so successful stories on bread making, especially in terms of proofing and shaping. I personally have had one epic fail when I used old yeast to bake bread for visitors. I was devastated serving it to them the next morning as it was flat and didn’t rise, but let’s put that behind us. Hopefully this recipe works as well for you as it did for me. #QuarantineRecipes

What you will need:

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour *can be replaced by whole grain flour/blended oat flour as healthier alternatives
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup fruit jam of choice *mine was homemade berry jam- a pretty simple recipe of blueberries, raspberries, water and sugar

Steps:

  1. In a bowl, pour in the milk and sugar. Mix until the sugar partly dissolves. (The milk should be warm to the touch, such that you don’t feel any temperature difference if you dip your finger into it.)
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk. (If using active dry yeast, let it rest for 10 minutes for the yeast to bloom. If you’re using instant yeast, no need for the rest time. It’s okay to use as it is.)
  3. Add the melted butter and mix. Add in the flour and salt a little at a time , using a spatula/wooden spoon to combine together into a sticky mass.
  4. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for approx. 10 minutes , until the dough is soft and elastic.
  5. Lightly oil a bowl (to prevent the dough from sticking and drying out), cover with cling film or a clean kitchen towel and let the dough proof/rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  6. After proofing, divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each portion into a circle. If rolling dough into a perfect round shape is an issue, just ensure the circles are relatively the same size to prevent a lot of overlap. (Otherwise, ‘tumbo haitambui shape’ is my motto. Hehe! 🙂 That is Kiswahili loosely translated to ‘the stomach doesn’t recognize the shape anyway’ for my international readers.)
  7. Take a little bit of the jam and spread it out over the first circle. Roll the next portion and lay it over the jam layer .Repeat the steps until you have the 4 layers of circles with jam layers in between.
  8. Take a cup/cookie cutter and make a slight indentation at the center of the dough (make sure you don’t cut through the dough). This will form the center of the star. Make 16 slits through the dough from the edge of that indentation (as shown in the video)
  9. Twist adjacent sections next to each other and join the edges at the end. Do this all around and slowly see the star shape come together.
  10. Cover with cling film or a clean kitchen towel and let the dough proof/rise for a second time- 30mins or until doubled in size. (Sometimes I make this at night and let it second proof overnight. It works for me but may not be as per professional bread making standards hehe! Apparently there’s something like over-proofing dough)
  11. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and lightly brush the bread with milk/egg/honey for a golden brown finish. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The smell of fresh bread is one of my favorites! 

Doesn’t it look lovely? A beautiful intricate star to remind you to hold onto hope in this pandemic season. You can dust the bread with icing sugar for some extra fancy jazz or also enjoy as is.

Share this recipe and tag me @muenimuli when you try it. Grace and peace! #TasteandSee


“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you only get to know and trust me.” Psalm 91:14-16(MSG)