Celebrate the holiday season with our showstopping cardamom raspberry star bread. It makes a special treat that will disappear in a flash. This post is sponsored by Calphalon. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Beyond Sweet and Savory possible.
December marks the beginning of the holiday baking season for our family. We bake bread, cakes, cookies, and all types of treats. While the cookies and cakes change every year, one tradition that we follow is enjoying a star bread on Christmas morning while opening presents. To celebrate this holiday season, I couldn’t be more excited to partner with Calphalon to share our special recipe for a cardamom raspberry star bread. This pull-apart style sweet bread is made from a rich yeasted dough layered with raspberry jam, flavored with cardamom, and baked to perfection for a special treat.
How to Make Star Bread
Making the cardamom raspberry star bread takes about 2 days but the result is worth every second! It involves making the dough, proving it twice, rolling, filling, shaping, and baking. Although there are a lot of steps, each is simple and success guaranteed if you read the instructions thoroughly before making it.
A Note on Yeast
For the star bread, we start with a yeasted dough that’s enriched with whole milk, eggs, and butter. Similar breads that utilize rich dough are brioche, babka, cinnamon rolls, and monkey bread. The most important thing is making sure the temperature of the milk doesn’t go above 110 degrees F or the yeast will die. Instant dry yeast or active dry yeast works for this recipe but the rise time will take a little longer if you use the latter. Always check the expiration date on your yeast package otherwise the yeast might be old and the dough won’t rise properly.
The dough requires two proving steps. After the dough is made, leave it in a warm spot in your kitchen to rise for 2 hours. Once it doubles in size, punch down the dough to release any air bubbles and let it prove overnight, about 8 hours, in the fridge to develop the cardamom flavor. If you’re making this during cold weather, prove it in your oven at 90 degrees F and the dough will rise.
At first glance shaping the cardamom raspberry star bread might seem intimidating but it’s a lot simpler than it looks. I have included a series of step by step pictures to show you how to shape the star bread. Rolling out the dough, filling it with jam, and shaping the star bread can be a lot of fun. Don’t worry if you don’t get the perfect shape on your first try. It comes with practice. Keeping the dough chill makes the job a bit easier. Whenever I feel the dough is too soft to handle, I put it in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece of the dough into a ball and cover them with a clean, damp tea towel while you work on one. Take one ball of dough and flatten it with your hands first then shape it into a rough circle. Next, use the rolling pin to roll the dough into a 10-inch disk. I like to roll out all the dough and stack them in between parchment papers before filling it.
Transfer the dough onto a large baking sheet. Use an offset spatula to spread ¼ cup of raspberry jam on top of the dough disk. I love the taste of raspberry jam with cardamom but feel free to substitute with your favorite jam, chocolate, or hazelnut spread. Place another dough disk on top of the raspberry jam and repeat the process two more times.
Top the last layer of raspberry jam with the last piece of dough. I like to trim the excess dough and make the star shape even. Place a 10-inch plate on top of the dough disc and trim any excess dough with a sharp knife or pastry wheel.
How to Shape Star Bread
Use small glass or bowl with a 2-inch diameter and place it in the center of the dough. Press it gently to make a small indent. Use a sharp knife or a pastry wheel, make 4 cuts at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and 9 o'clock.
Slice each of these quarters into two pieces, then cut each of those into two pieces again.
You should have 16 pieces connected to the middle of the circle.
To shape the dough, take any two strands next to each other and twist them away from each other. Pinch the ends of the strands together to form a point. Repeat with remaining strands until you have a shape of a star.
How Long to Bake the Bread
I love using my Calphalon Premier™ Countertop Safe Bakeware cookie sheet for baking the star bread. Its heavy-gauge steel core heats evenly with interlocking nonstick layers for superior release. I didn’t even need parchment paper for baking. Brush the star bread with egg wash and bake it for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F or until it turns golden brown.
When the bread is done baking, leave it to cool on the cookie sheet for 15 minutes before serving. I love the heat-resistant, no-slip silicone feet of the Calphalon Premier™ Countertop Safe Bakeware which allow the sheet to go directly on the countertop from the oven.
This innovative design protects counters from surface and accidental burns while eliminating the need for trivets or pot holders. I love the high quality of Calphalon’s bakeware and have pieces that are still going strong even after a decade of use.
I could hardly wait to tear off a piece when the smell of freshly baked bread filled our kitchen. Pulling off a piece while it’s still warm is an experience to be savored. With every bite you get moist, tender crumbs, layered with a raspberry jam and subtle note of cardamom. Celebrate the holiday season with this special treat!
Cardamom Raspberry Star Bread
- 1 package instant yeast
- ¼ cup and 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ cup whole milk, warm
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ¾ cup raspberry jam
- 1 small egg, lightly beaten
- Pour milk in a small bowl and warm it in the microwave until lukewarm. Make sure the max temperature is 105-110 degrees. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and give it a quick stir before adding the yeast. Let mixture sit for 8 to 10 minutes, until foamy.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour, remaining sugar, salt, and cardamom, stir until combined.
- Stir vanilla extract into yeast mixture.
- Add in the yeast mixture and eggs until the dough comes together in a soft mass, about 5 minutes.
- Add the butter and beat until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Continue beating until the dough is smooth and stretchy, another 5 minutes.
- Butter a clean bowl, form the dough into a ball and roll it around in the bowl so all sides are buttered. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until it puffs and rises, about 2 hours.
- After 2 hours ently press the dough down with your hands, re-cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight for the second prove.
- Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, cover the balls, and allow them to rest for 15 minutes.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll one piece of dough into a 10" circle and place them in between sheets of parchment paper.
- Lay one circle of dough on a large baking sheet.
- Spread ¼ cup of raspberry jam over the dough. Top with a second circle of dough. Spread another layer of jam and repeat with a third piece, then finish with the final circle of dough.
- Place a 10-inch plate over the dough and use a sharp knife to cut off excess dough and make the circle even.
- Place a 2-inch cup or bowl in the center of the dough circle as a guide. With a sharp knife or pastry wheel, make 4 even cuts, from the glass to the edge. Cut each of the 4 segments in half to make 8, then again to make 16 strands.
- Remove the cup. Using two hands, pick up two adjacent strips and twist them away from each other twice so that the top side is facing up again. Repeat with the remaining strips of dough so that you end up with eight pairs of strips.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Brush the star with a thin coat of the beaten egg. Bake it for 25 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.