Posted on September 14, 2015
The other day a random video caught my fancy, and cooking for houseguests became the perfect excuse to experiment. The video uses nutella as the sweet between layers of dough, but Bob hates nutella with a capital N, so I immediately thought about interesting substitutions for this eye-catching pastry. Turns out it is simple and quick to make, and has a nice bling factor. This time I made it with Sweetlife Farm Burnt Caramel Sauce; next time I will try a fruity version with Raspberry Preserve and Meyer Lemon Bitters. We made it for dessert, but it would serve equally well as a breakfast pastry with coffee.
You need enough dough to make 4 thin layers the size of a dinner plate--it would be approximately the amount to make 3 pizza crusts. We made enough to make 4 pizzas, and had a pretty big piece left over. You can make your own pizza or brioche dough or you can purchase dough (but really, it's only flour, yeast, salt and water, so don't waste your money on a box with the same ingredients); pizza dough takes only 90 minutes to rise, so I asked Bob to whip up a batch to rise while I made dinner. Brioche would probably be even better, but takes a lot more time to make, and I didn't plan that far ahead.....
After the dough has risen, punch it down, form into a ball and let it rest on a floured surface for about 15 minutes. Cut the ball into 4 equal segments. Roll each out on a floured board, place a dinner plate on top and trace a circle with a knife. Discard the scraps. Use a baking sheet with parchment paper to build your starbread. Place the first piece of dough on the parchment, then spread about 1/4 cup of burnt caramel sauce over the top.
Repeat with the remaining 3 layers of dough, but don't put caramel sauce on the top.
Place a small diameter glass in the middle of the pastry for reference. Cutting from the edge of the pastry to the edge of the glass, make 4 equal sections. Then cut each section into 4 more sections. You will end up with 16 pieces.
Now, lift two adjacent pieces and twist them in two full revolutions from inside to outside.
Move to the next two pieces and repeat, until you have made it around the circle and have eight pairs. Next, pinch of the edge of each pair to seal the outside edge.
Remove the glass and admire your handiwork. Brush the top with a beaten egg white (I spaced this step and we didn't notice, but it would make the finished pastry shiny and even prettier...).
Pop into a 400 degree oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until tinged golden brown.
Slice into eight pieces (the middle is the cook's bonus...). Serve hot, with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream. We served it with sweetened whipped cream spiked with Bainbridge Organic Distillers Whiskey, and passed the leftover caramel sauce to drizzle over the top.....
Find the inspirational video on the Sweetlife Farm Facebook page.