Raspberry Star Bread 12.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Dec 11, 2018

The best part about this holiday loaf is not that it's so very appealing, but that it is fairly easy to do. The recipe calls for half the yield of Amish-Style Milk Bread -- based on a no-knead dough that can be refrigerated for days -- which you can find in the related recipe link. A challah or other enriched dough can be used instead.

The bread is filled with the authors' Quick Raspberry Jam, and it's particularly nice because it has such a vivid color. But feel free to use a good brand of store-bought jam.

You'll need a 2 1/2-inch biscuit or cookie cutter.

To read the accompanying story, see: 2018 is an investment year for cookbooks.

Make Ahead: The dough needs to rest at room temperature for 2 hours, then be refrigerated for at least 3 hours, and up to 5 days. The assembled loaf needs to rise at room temperature for 90 minutes.


Servings:
12

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12 servings; makes 1 large loaf

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds Amish-Style Milk Bread (half the yield of that recipe; see related link)
  • Flour, for dusting
  • 1 cup Quick Raspberry Jam or your favorite store-bought raspberry jame (see headnote and NOTE)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Sanding/sparkling sugar, for decorating

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Directions

Dust the dough lightly with flour, then use a bench scraper or sharp knife to divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Dust each of those with flour, then quickly shape each one into a ball by stretching the surface of dough around to the bottom, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you work.

Roll each ball of dough into a 10-inch round, dusting the work surface with more flour as needed. Place one of them on a sheet of parchment paper, then spread the dough with about a third of the jam, leaving a narrow margin around the edges. Position another round of dough directly on top, then repeat with another third of the jam. Repeat with the next layers of dough and jam, then place the last round of dough on top.

Place the cutter at the center of the top round of dough, pressing it in lightly but not enough to cut through the 4 layers of dough. Use the bench scraper or a sharp knife to cut 16 equal wedges all the way through, and up to the cutter. Working in pairs, twist 2 side-by-side wedges away from each other with 2 rotations, joining them by pinching the ends together into a point. This will create the 8-point star effect.

Leave the cutter in place; cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 90 minutes.

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Discard the plastic wrap and remove the cutter; slide the parchment with the dough onto a baking sheet. Whisk together the egg and water to form an egg wash; use some of it to brush evenly over the star loaf. Sprinkle with the sugar. Bake (middle rack) for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and set.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

VARIATION: To make Cinnamon Star Bread, whisk together 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon in a bowl. Use the mixture in thirds, in the same way the jam is distributed in the recipe above.

NOTE: To make 1 cup of Quick Raspberry Jam, combine 1 pound of fresh or frozen raspberries, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, using a fork to break up some of the fruit. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring often, or until it forms a jam that is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Cool completely before using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Holiday and Celebration Breads in Five Minutes a Day: Sweet and Decadent Baking for Every Occasion," by Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg (St. Martin's Press, 2018).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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