There are so many tutorials floating around Pinterest for star bread. I think I first saw them on Adventures in Cooking. I fell in love with Eva’s photography and found out she is from Portland! Small world. Her recipes are amazing and there are so many I’ve been pinning to save and try at a later date. There are always too many recipes in my head that I want to make. I have ADD when it comes to baking. This brioche cranberry star bread is perfect for a crowd.
This recipe uses my favorite brioche bread from BreadIn5’s holiday baking book. I have two other cookbooks from the same author and knew that I would love the holiday edition. The brioche is so versatile. I’ve used it for cinnamon rolls, this star bread, and a cranberry coffee cake. See?! Versatile!
Since I didn’t get permission to use their recipe, I’m linking back to their website for the Brioche. It makes enough to do several different recipes. I’ll include directions for assembling the brioche cranberry star bread and also the cranberry jam I used between the layers of dough. Also – this book makes a wonderful gift. I know it’s too late to give it for Christmas, but there is never a wrong time to gift a book! You can find it on Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. I prefer Amazon just because I have Prime and who doesn’t love free shipping!
The brioche dough is wonderful because you can leave in your fridge up to five days to use over a period of time. I don’t know about you, but that really fits my schedule. It seems I never have enough time to finish things and if I can do parts of a recipe ahead of time, all the better.
The cranberry jam is really what makes it so good. I love flavor pairings of orange with the tartness of the berries. But know what else is really good? Adding cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and ginger. That really kicks it up a notch. The recipe makes more than you’ll need for the star bread, but I put some on my sprouted wheat bread the next morning. Yum! for sure.
Look how pretty that is! I know it looks complicated, but it really isn’t. Once you see the process of how to assemble it, you’ll realize that it’s quite easy to put together. Yes, there are many steps to take. But none of them are complicated, and when the result is such a pretty bread, it makes that little extra effort worth it.
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I used the Brioche dough from BreadIn5 for this recipe.
For the bread
- 1 pound chunk of brioche dough from BreadIn5
For the jam
- 1 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
- 1 cup | 7 ounces granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup juice from Cara Cara oranges
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- pinch white pepper
- pinch cloves
- pinch ground anise
- dash vanilla
For the jam
- Place cranberries, sugar, orange juice and spices in a medium size sauce pan. Cook over medium low heat until cranberries begin to soften. Increase heat to medium and stir occasionally while berries continue to cook and soften. Mixture will thicken after 8-10 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender to puree cranberries. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- As mixture cools, it will thicken. Can speed up process by putting jam in silicone bowl and placing in freezer for 5-7 minutes.
For the bread
- Divide brioche dough into four equal pieces. On a floured surface, roll the first piece of dough into a roughly 12 inch circle. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Spread jam over surface of dough.
- Repeat with two more layers of dough and jam.
- Place fourth layer on top. Using a 3-4 inch cup or jar, place in center of dough. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into four pieces, right up to edge of cup. (Cut through all layers of dough).
- Cut those four pieces in half, to make eight slices total.
- Cut each of those eight pieces in half again, to make a total of sixteen.
- Lift up two adjacent slices, and twisting outward, make two twists, then pinch the ends together.
- Continue on with pairs of bread slices until you have eight twisted sets of bread.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 45 minutes. You don’t want it puffing up too much, so if your rise time is faster, that’s okay. It will puff up more in the oven.
- While bread is rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush bread with egg wash.
- Bake 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. It’s perfect just like this, but feel free to dust the ends with powdered sugar if you so desire.
Check out other recipes that use the same brioche dough. This braided brioche bread filled with chocolate. Yum! Also these brioche cinnamon rolls with orange cream cheese frosting. Double yum!3