Chai-Spiced Star Bread
My chai star bread is great for potlucks or parties because it's easy to share and looks beautiful. Prepare it ahead of time, refrigerate, then just pop it in the oven before serving. Try using this recipe with other fruits, too, like persimmons or apples. —Elizabeth Ding, El Cerrito, California
Total TimePrep: 45 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup warm whole milk (110° to 115°)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 medium Bartlett pear, peeled and chopped
- 1 large egg, beaten
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine milk, sugar, yeast mixture and 1.5 cups flour; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 4 portions. Roll each into a 12-in. circle. Place 1 circle on a parchment-lined 14-in. pizza pan. For filling, combine butter, brown sugar, vanilla and spices. Spread circle with a third of the filling. Repeat twice, layering dough and filling; top with pears. Top with final portion of dough.
- Place a 2-1/2-in. round cutter on top of the dough in center of circle (do not press down). With a sharp knife, make 16 evenly spaced cuts from round cutter to edge of dough, forming a starburst. Remove cutter; grasp 2 strips and rotate twice outward. Pinch ends together. Repeat with remaining strips.
- Cover with a kitchen towel; almost doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°. Brush with beaten egg. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.