I have been so excited all week to make this star bread. About a week ago, while perusing King Arthur Flour recipes, I saw this amazing star shaped cinnamon bun situation and just knew that I had to make it. I checked the recipe, made a a bunch of tweaks (made it vegan and a little simpler) and set a date with the oven. I figured that Friday was the day because well, this bread is basically a really pretty cinnamon bun and cinnamon buns are great for the weekend and plus the temperature in the world dropped to like super freaking freazing cold and what better way to stay warm then to crank the oven.
And make it I did. And honestly. this was one of the most satisfying bread bakes that I have had in a while. It is just so dang pretty and smells so good and was honestly way easier to make then it looks (seriously, really simple). I don't know if I am ever going to be ale to make cinnamon buns the regular way again. I mean look at this. And best to let you know that it feeds a crowd, which is fantastic if you are going to be having any big family/friend gatherings in the next month or two. (or if you are just awesome and want to eat the whole thing to your face). Think about it, if you make this for the people (or yourself) how cool and awesome and fancy you are going to seem. It's really a win win win all around here so I don't see a reason to not make it. Trust me, and thank me later.
The stuff of stars. Flour. salt. yeast and soy milk. A little oil, sugar, mashed sweet potato, earth balance and cinnamon.
To start, a couple of tablespoons sugar and the yeast go into the warm soy milk to kick start that yeast and get mixed together.
Salt, oil, and mashed sweet potato go into the big bowl with the flour.
Then the yeast mixture gets pouted in too. Get ready to mix. And mix.
And after mixing, some kneading. A well floured surface with a extra flour on the side is needed here. You are going to want to knead the dough for about 5 minutes, adding a little flour whenever the dough gets to sticky.
Once the dough is nice and smooth looking, cover it in oil and stick it into a bowl and cover it and let rise for about an hour.
Make your cinnamon sugar mixture while waiting .
Dough doubled in size and dumped onto the well flour counter.
Take a dough cutter or knife and divided the dough into four equal pieces and roll each piece into ball.
While keeping your surface well floured, roll a dough ball into circle (or as close to a circle as you can get it) about 12 inched wide
Place rolled dough onto parchment paper and cover the surface with earth balance. Then sprinkle a third of the cinnamon sugar mixture all over that.
Grab another ball of dough and roll it out the same size as the first and place on top the first dough. Repeat the earth balance and sugar mixture and then cover that with another rolled out dough. Earth balance and sugar mixture one more time, then the last dough.
All stacked up.Take the rolling pin and give the whole stacked thing a gentle little roll, just to make sure all layers are stuck together.
The fun part. Grab a small circle cutter or lid (I used small jar lid) and place directly in the middle. Take your dough cutter and score your cuts. Score into quarters then each corner into six pieces. You end up with twenty-four pieces. There needs to be a even amount of pieces in order for the design to work so you could do 22-16 pieces. I wouldn't go less.
To get the twist, grab a piece in each hand, give a little tug and twist the pieces towards each other 3 times. Take the ends and kind of tuck and pinch them together. Repeat until all the pieces care twisted.
This is probably the most pretty cinnamon thing I have ever seen.
Slide the star on the parchment onto a baking sheet and cover to rise and rest for about half hour or so and get the oven preheated.
After the second rise and right before you stick it into he oven, brush the top with a little plant milk.
And into the hot oven it goes.
Aaaaa. So freaking pretty!
After a few minutes, if you decided you want a little glaze action, go for it. I made up a super simple one, just a splash of vanilla in powder sugar with a splash of milk.
Drizzled and ready for action.
Now let the people eat.
Cinnamon Star Bread
makes 12-13 servings
For the dough
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour plus more for kneading.
- 1/4 cup mashed sweet potato *
- 1 1/4 cup warm soy (or any plant) milk plus 1 tablespoon to brush on pre bake
- 1/4 cup neutral oil plus 1 tablespoon to coat dough
- 1 packet or 2 teaspoon yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons room temperature earth balance
For icing (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons plant milk
*I just mashed up a 1/4 cup of a roated sweet potato that I had in the fridge. If you don't have a roasted potato laying around, you can steam of roast a sweet potato and mash it up for this.
Measure milk into a large jar or bowl. Mix in 2 tablespoons sugar and the yeast. Set aside to activate. In a large bowl mix together the flour and salt. Add in the sweet potato, oil, and the soy yeast mixture. Mix together with a wooden spoon or dough spoon until you can't. If the dough seems really wet, add in another 1/4 cup of flour. Once mixed as well was you can get it, dump the dough onto well floured surface. Start kneading the dough, adding a little flour as you go if needed. Knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough is a nice soft but not to sticky uniform ball. Cover dough with a little oil and place into large clean bowl. Cover with a towel and let dough rise in a warm place for about an hour or until it doubles in size.
Mix the cinnamon and sugar together while waiting.
Once dough has risen, dump it onto a well floured surface and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball then grab the first ball and roll out into a large circle about 12 inches wide. Don't worry hear if the circle is not perfect, its going to be fine. Place first circle onto piece of parchment paper and cover the surface with 1 tablespoon of earth balance. Sprinkle with a third of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Grab another dough ball and roll out to the same size as the first and place onto of the cinnamon sugared dough. Repeat the earth balance cinnamon sugar and top with another rolled out dough. Once more with the remaining earth balance and cinnamon sugar and top with the last rolled out dough. Take rolling pin and give the whole stacked thing a little roll to make sure it's all stuck together well.
For the design part. Grab a small circle shaped thing about 2 inches wide (I used a jar lid) and place directly in the center of the dough. Take a dough cutter or sharpe knife and lightly score into quarters then each quarter into 6 pieces You could also cut less pieces, but the main thing you need is to have an even number of pieces for the design to work. Once your lines are good, cut the lines by pushing down into the dough and not slicing back and forth. Grab a piece in each hand and gently twist the pieces towards each other 3 times then pinch the ends together. Repeat until all the pieces are twisted together. Slide the star onto a large baking sheet, cover, and let rest and rise for another 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven to 400
When the star is risen again and right before it's going into the oven, brush the top with a little plant milk. Pop it into the oven and bake for about 20- 25 minutes, or until the top is a nice deep gold brown.
Remove from oven and let cool a little bit. If you want a little icing, mix together the vanilla, powdered sugar, and plant milk. Wait until the star is less the hot and drizzle all over.
And now it's time to get at it. Eat what you want and store the rest in an air tight container.