This pillow-soft pastry bread is one that's been repeated numerous times in our home. It's best when fresh out of the oven, of course, so make sure your pot of tea is whistling by the time the oven timer rings. It's true, there are a few steps to this recipe, but the end result is so worth the effort you won't make it just once. This dough recipe is so fluffy and so delicate, it is now my go-to for when I make any sweet pastry, such as cinnamon rolls and piroshki. I hope you give this one a try. Enjoy!
Twisted Star Sweet Bread
1 package (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110° F to 115° F)
3/4 cup warm whole milk (110° F to 115° F)
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1. In the bowl of your stand mixer or in a large bowl, mix 1 package active dry yeast and 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°) . Let stand for about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk 1/4 softened butter until pale and smooth, then add 1 large egg, 3/4 cup warm milk (110° to 115°) , 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix until smooth. Add this to the yeast mixture along with 3 cups all-purpose flour.
2. Mix until dough just comes together, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place until greased bowl turning once to coat all sides of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 1 hour.
3. Punch down the dough. Turn out onto floured surface and divide into 4 portions. To prevent dough from drying, cover 3 portions with plastic wrap or clean towel while working with one portion. Roll out one portion of dough into 12-inch circle. Place on a lightly greased 14 inch pizza pan. Spread one third of the jam to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Repeat twice: dough, jam, dough jam (ending with one final portion of dough).
4. Place a 3 inch round cutter (I used a clean cup) on top of the dough in the center (do not press down). Using a very sharp knife, cut dough circle into 4 even sections, then each section into 4 even portions making 16 cuts total. Take two strips and twist them outwardly twice. Repeat with remaining strips until you make a star shape, as pictured.
5. Cover with plastic; let rise for 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 375° F. Once preheated, bake until golden brown, approximately 18-22 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with 2 tablespoons butter, avoiding areas where jam is visible. Cool completely, then sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home