Did I mention that I'm a bit obsessed with bread at the moment? In particular enriched doughs and brioche. Its soft and squidgy, delicious warm or cold, brilliant as a savoury or sweet version and the new family favourite. Don't ask me whether it keeps because it doesn't hang about long enough to find out.
The idea for this bread is by no means original, you can find lots of versions on the internet and YouTube videos showing you how to get the pattern. Most of them have a chocolate filling but I thought I would make a savoury one as that is by far my families preference. The one in the picture above is filled with my chorizio jam, but the recipe below has a filling of pesto and sundried tomato. You can really you can use your imagination and fill with your favourite flavours.
I was at the Isle of Wight Garlic festival at the weekend and demonstrated this bread. It was a huge hit, the audience ate four loaves, three savoury ones and one filled with Nutella. I wanted to share the recipe so here it is. I hope the pictures help to understand the twisting, it is very simple to do but quite tricky to explain in words.
Layered up with centre marked ready for cutting and twisting
Ready to place in a plastic bag and left to rise for an hour or so.
I put this last picture in because it looks pretty, it has the chorizio jam filling. Its proved and ready to be egg washed and popped in the oven for 25 minutes.
I hope you have fun making this. It really does have the WOW factor and is delicious.
PS. I've tacked on the recipe for my chorizio jam on the bottom of the page in case you fancy making this filling.
Savoury Star Bread
For the brioche dough:
500g Strong plain white bread flour
1 tsp Garlic granules (optional)
1 tbs Caster sugar
1 ½ tsp Salt
10g Easy Bake yeast
120g Salted butter – melted
200ml Full Fat milk
2 Large eggs - lightly beaten
For the filling:
1 tbs Double cream
Put flour, sugar and garlic granules in a large bowl, add salt to one side and yeast to the other side and stir.
Make a well in the centre and add the melted butter, milk and eggs. Stir to combine. The dough will be quite sticky. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. You may need to use a bench scraper at the beginning to move the dough about but after a couple of minutes it will become less sticky. Alternatively bung everything in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix for 10 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave for approx. 2 hours until doubled in size. (NOTE: an enriched dough takes longer to prove than a standard bread dough.)
Preheat oven to 180C (fan) 200C (conventional)
When the dough has risen, divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a circle a little bit bigger than a dinner plate.
Place one circle of dough onto a piece of non-stick baking paper. Press the dinner plate onto the surface so you can see a faint outline. This will act as a guide for the filling.
Spread half of the pesto onto the circle of dough, keeping it approx. 1 cm from marked circle. Place a second circle of dough on top of the first, mark with the dinner plate as before. Spread this one with the sundried tomato puree. Place a circle of dough on top, mark again and spread with remaining pesto. Top with last circle of dough.
Put the dinner plate on top of the dough stack and cut neatly around the outside. Now place a ramekin or a glass in the middle of the dough and press down to mark a central circle.
Make cuts from the outside of the central circle to the outer rim (a.) then divide each quarter into 3 (b.)
Take one piece and twist twice clockwise and the piece on its right twist twice anti-clockwise ie. twist them towards each other. Repeat for rest of pieces.
Lift dough on its baking paper onto a baking sheet. Place inside a large plastic bag and leave to rise for about an hour.
When risen beat together small egg and double cream and brush over the surface of the bread.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes until golden and gorgeous.
Delicious warm or cold.
NOTE: If making a sweet dough omit garlic granules and add 2 tbs extra of sugar
A popular modern classic is Nutella between each layer
Chorizio jam make a fabulous meaty bread
Cinnamon, brown sugar and chopped nuts make a delicious bread with a topping of icing after baking
Sorry no picture for this one but it is a delicious recipe. Once cold store in an airtight container in the fridge and its ready when you are to stir into pasta, spread on warm star bread or pop it in a sandwich, I'm sure you will find loads of uses for it.
Large glug of olive oil
2 Large onions – finely chopped
3 cloves Garlic – crushed
225g Spicy chorizio sausage – skinned and chopped
½ tsp Flaked dried chilli (to taste)
2 tbs Tomato puree
400g Tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbs Dried oregano
150ml Chicken stock
Heat some olive oil in the frying pan, and gently fry the onions until soft
Add the skinned and chopped chorizio and chilli flakes and leave to cook gently until the oils are released, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add the crushed garlic and cook for a further minute
Add rest of the ingredients for the chorizio jam and simmer until reduced and jammy
Place mixture into the food processor and process until quite smooth, you do not want large bits of chorizio but small pieces will add texture to the bread
Leave to cool