Monday, December 23, 2013

Walnut filled Star Bread


This recipe is all technique, so scroll through the pictures below to see how to put these simple ingredients together to make this beautiful breakfast bread:

Basic 5-cup Bread Dough
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons margarine - divided 2 T. for filling, 2 T. melted for brushing over risen dough

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Glaze:
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons hot milk (microwave for 20-30 seconds)
Whisk together ingredients until no lumps are visible. 

Place walnuts, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and 2 T. margarine in bowl of food processor.

Pulse all ingredients to fine paste, leaving only small bits of walnuts visible.

Divide the filling into three equal portions.

Divide the bread dough into four equal pieces and shape each into a ball.


Lightly flour the work surface. The dough needs to stick a little so do not over flour.

Roll the dough out slightly larger than a 14-inch round pizza pan. Press the pan into the dough to leave an indented circle to use as a guide to stretching out subsequent circles. 

Spread out one portion of the filling on this bottom layer. Be less generous in the middle than on the outer edges, since the middle tends to get doughy and not cook through if the filling is too heavy.

Roll out another circle of dough to approximately 14 inches and lay it over the first layer of filling. Stretch it to meet the indented circle made by the pan and spread the second ball of filling over it. Note in the picture, breaking the filling into chunks around the circle edge makes spreading it easier. Repeat until all filling and dough balls have been used. 

Poke the middle with a fork through the dough layers. The bread can rise unevenly in the middle without the holes. 
Wet the outside edge of the bottom layer with a bit of water if it has dried out and fold it up over the top, pinching it evenly all around the edge. 
Use the rolling pin to flip the dough over, seam side down and place it on an oiled (Pam spray) pan. Be gentle with this procedure, the bottom layer of dough is thin and could rip through to expose the nut mixture, ruining the design. 
Gently press the dough to shape it back into a circle and out toward the edges of the pan. 
Use a small dish (this one is 3 1/2" in diameter) to mark the center of the dough and cut through all the dough layers to create four equal sections. 

Cut each of those four sections into 3 equal sections for a total of 12. 

Then twist the dough, a half twist shows the seam side up. 

 The completed twist will place the seam side down, this is desired. 

Twist opposing sections toward on another. 

Each section should appear to make a point as they twist inward. 

Poke more holes with a fork into the top in a decorative design to encourage an even rise.

The edges of the dough can be pulled gently outward until they fill the pan. Don't fret about areas where the pan shows through, they fill in as the dough rises and bakes.  Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and allow to rise in a warm place about 1 hour.

NOTE: The bread can go into the refrigerator overnight (or up to 12 hours) to be baked in the morning. Simply remove the bread and allow it to come to room temperature, which should encourage it to finish the rise and be ready to bake in about an hour. 

Once the dough looks plump and about double in size, it is ready to bake. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons margarine and brush the top to encourage browning and a shiny beautiful appearance. Bake at 375-degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Brush the bread a second time with the remaining margarine as it nears the desired golden brown color. Do not underbake, the walnut mixture can make the bread doughy if not allowed to fully take on a golden hue, waiting for the bread to bake is the most difficult part!
While the bread is still warm, frost with the glaze, allowing the frosting to soak into the bread a bit which allows more of the beautiful design to show through.  It is ready to eat anytime, warm or room temperature and keeps well overnight if covered.


Serve by cutting into wedges. Each wedge can be halved, but almost everyone will be back for a second portion. This bread easily serves twelve.


Enjoy! Please feel free to leave a comment, I would love to hear if you make modifications and other successes with filling. 

Note: Another beautiful option for this bread is using Nutella, there are recipes and videos from a number of sources around the internet. Admittedly, one came to me through social media prior to making my version but I created this recipe completely myself, only having seen the picture as an idea for this shape. 

5 comments:

  1. I just finished eating my 2nd piece! So fun to make. Your directions were excellent! Next time I will toast the walnuts first but otherwise, it is perfect.

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  2. Wonderful to hear! I try to hide the nuts from the kids, so I didn't even think to toast them, but I bet pecans toasted in this recipe would be excellent too.

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  3. I didn't know you had culinary talent also! You should enter this in a bake-off contest! Rhonda F

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  4. So beautiful! I added a date mixture to each layer before adding the walnuts. It's baking now and smells so delicious! Thanks for the recipe AND the step by step pictures! :)

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    1. I've been wanting to add dates to mine too, I bet that was great! It is wonderful to hear people have made this bread, it really is easier than cinnamon rolls and stunning on the serving platter for guests. Thanks for giving it a try!

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