Star bread dessert

Cinnamon Star Bread with 1 easy single rise

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This gorgeous star bread is the ultimate and memorable treat.
Suit perfectly family gatherings any time of the year, particularly during the holidays as a Christmas brunch or dessert. 

The season to bake all the sweets has started; classic gingerbread cookies, perfect thumbprint cookies, sweetbreads, pies, cakes, sugar cookies, rolls, cheesecakes, and bite-size chocolate truffles, you name it! Who is ready for holiday baking?

Star bread on a wooden plate

You will be surprised how easy it is to make this cinnamon star bread and requires one single rise.

Cinnamon Star Bread video tutorial

Shaping this sweet bread isn’t complicated! Our step-by-step video tutorial will show exactly how to make this cinnamon pecan star bread.

INGREDIENTS IN THIS STAR BREAD RECIPE

All-purpose flour, active dry yeast, ground cardamom, ground cinnamon, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, milk, unsalted butter, toasted pecans, egg wash, simple syrup (optional but recommended), powdered sugar, red sprinkles.
The full printable recipe is below.

Ingredients star bread

How to make star bread in 4 steps

Usually, pull-apart bread, shaped bread, rolls recipes require two rises, and star bread recipes usually have many layers.
For this Christmas star bread,
we simplified the recipe for you in one single rise of the dough and two layers!

Before you start, make sure you have softened butter for the filling and the dough. Let’s go into these 4 easy steps.

1. Filling of this star bread recipe
Please start with the filling: Cut the roasted pecans and set them aside.
Combine softened butter, spices, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and place aside.

2. Make the dough
You can use a stand mixer or one bowl, and you can knead with your hands. After mixing all the ingredients, you start working on the dough. The kneading time is 10 minutes by hand, about 6 minutes with a stand mixer, or until you reach a smooth dough. Split the dough into two pieces, then roll each part (with parchment paper underneath) into an 11-inch (28 cm) circle.

Foto blog step

3. Roll out and shape the cinnamon star bread
After speeding the filling and the chopped pecans on the first layer surface, you top it with the second dough layer. 
The shaping part is straightforward; as shown in the video tutorial, you can use the bottom of a cake pan and a bench knife to cut the dough around the edges so you make a proper circle.

Put a star-shaped cookie cutter in the center of the dough circle and cut. With a bench knife or sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 equal strips. 
Pick one strip of the dough and twist two times clockwise, then take another strip, rotate two times counterclockwise, and ultimately press the two ends together. 

Continue until you use all strips of dough. Let the star-shaped dough rise for about 2 hours on a baking sheet under a kitchen towel.

star bread steps

4. Bake
While the star is rising, make a simple syrup.
Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Let it cool.

Just before baking, brush the bread with egg wash.

Preheat oven at 395°F( 200°C). Bake for about 15 -17 minutes, depending on your oven. Don’t overbake, or you will end up with a dry bread star.

Brush the star bread with simple syrup straight out of the oven. Thanks to the egg wash and simple syrup, you will have a beautiful shiny golden brown star.  

Dust the Christmas star bread with powdered sugar and add red sprinkles just before serving.

Star bread with and without icing sugar

Most frequently asked questions

What do you do with the extra dough?
Pecan Cinnamon rolls! 🙂 Save the edges around the circle as you can make some rolls. After shaping each piece of dough, let them rise until double the size and bake for about 12 minutes at 395°F
(200 °C).

How to store leftover star bread?
Save leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days. 

Keep in the refrigerator inside an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap for up to three days.

Can you reheat the leftover bread?
Yes, preheat the oven at 350°F (175°C). The bread will be soft again after heated (covered) for about 7-10 minutes in the oven.

Christmas star bread on a plate

Bread filling

Our Swedish cinnamon rolls recipe inspired this Christmas star bread.

You can make this sweet bread with or without nuts, jam, or many other fillings. The Nutella star bread recipe is also pretty common.

Tip:

This dessert is best fresh-baked. If you need to heat the bread before serving, here is how. Preheat the oven at 350°F (175°C), then cover the Christmas star bread and warm-up for about 10 minutes on a baking tray. 

Star bread dessert

How to make Cinnamon Star Bread with 1 easy single rise

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 46 minutes

This gorgeous star bread is the ultimate and memorable treat. You will be surprised how easy it is to make and requires only one rise. Suit perfectly for family gatherings any time of the year, particularly during the holidays as a Christmas brunch or dessert. 

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1/3 cup / 75 g of softened unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons /40 g granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons /40 g brown sugar
  • 1 cup / 100 g of toasted halves pecans

Dough

  • 3 and 2/3 cup (450 g) of all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons (7 g) of active dry yeast 
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup (250 ml) of lukewarm milk 
  • 4.5 oz (130 g) of softened unsalted butter

Egg wash

  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 pinch of salt

Simple syrup (optional but recommended)

  • 1/2 cup (100 ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) of regular sugar 

Topping

  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar for dusting 
  • 1 tablespoon red sprinkles

Instructions

Use a kitchen scale for more accurate measurement.
Before you start, make sure you have softened butter for the filling and the dough. 

Pro tip: If you cut the needed amount in thin slices, it will soften faster :).

Roast the halves pecans for about 15 minutes at 300°F /150°C and let them cool down before chopping. 

1. Filling. 

Mix the softened butter, the spices and brown sugar, granulated sugar in a medium bowl, and set aside.

2. Make the dough (by hand) 

Inside a big bowl, mix the flour, yeast, cardamom, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Pour in the lukewarm milk (105°F / 40°C) and the softened butter, then roughly mix with a spatula or wooden spoon. Now it's time to use your hands to assemble the dough.

Turn the dough onto a clean surface and knead with your hands for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, soft, and elastic. Split the dough into two equal pieces and shape into balls.

Make the dough with a stand mixer.

You can use a dough hook or bread hook.
After mixing all the ingredients as described above knead for about 6 minutes or until you reach a smooth dough. Turn the dough onto a clean surface and split the dough into pieces of the same size and shape into balls.

3. Roll out and shape this holiday bread.

Place each ball of dough on a piece of parchment paper. 

Roll each piece into about an 11-inch (28 cm) circle with a rolling pin. This star bread has only two layers.

Spread the filling mixture across ONE of the dough circles, sprinkle with the chopped pecans then top with the second circle of dough. 

For an even circle, use the base of a 10-inch cake pan or a big plate and cut the dough using a pizza cutter, knife, or bench knife. Save the edges around the circle of dough for later as you can make some rolls.

Put a star-shaped cookie cutter in the center of the dough circle and cut. With a bench knife, pizza cutter, or sharp knife, cut the disk into 16 equal strips. 

We turn adjacent strips in opposite directions like this: pick up one strip of the dough and twist 2 times clockwise, then take another strip and rotate 2 times counterclockwise, and lastly press the two ends together.

Repeat the process with the remaining strips so that you will end up with 8 points.

Place the shaped dough onto a baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 2 hours in a warm environment like for example inside your turned-off oven with the light on. 

When the bread is rising, you need to make the simple syrup.

Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Let it cool.

4. Bake the star bread

Preheat oven at 395°F( 200°C), and just before baking, brush with the egg wash.

Bake for about 15 -17 minutes, depending on your oven. Don't overbake, or you will end up with a dry bread star. 

Brush the star bread with simple syrup straight out of the oven. Let it cool off—dust with powdered sugar and red sprinkles just before serving.

Enjoy!

Notes

Before you start, make sure you have softened butter for the filling and the dough. 
Pro tip: If you cut the needed amount of butter in thin slices, it will soften faster.
Use a kitchen scale for more accurate measurement.


This dessert is best fresh-baked when it is still warm. If you need to heat the bread before serving, here is how. Preheat the oven at 350°F (175°C), then cover the bread and warm for about 10 minutes on a baking tray. 

You can make this sweet bread with or without nuts, Nutella, jam, or many other fillings. Brushing with egg wash before baking and with simple syrup after the baking result in a lovely golden brown bread.


What to do with the extra dough?

Pecan Cinnamon rolls! 🙂  Save the edges around the circle as you can make some rolls. After shaping each piece of dough, let them rise until double the size and bake for about 12 minutes at 395°F( 200°C

Save leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days, or keep in the refrigerator inside an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap for up to three days.

The leftover bread will be soft again after heated (covered) for a few minutes in the oven at 350°F (175°C).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 323Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 312mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 32gProtein: 4g

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