KAF have a monthly bakealong where every month they share a recipe that the bakers can then make. I've always wanted to participate in the bakealong because just by doing it once a month I would’ve tried 12 new recipes! However you know how it goes. You may want a lot of things but you can only do so many. This recipe was posted for the Holiday bakelong in December. So when the opportunity presented itself – we had to take dessert to a get-together – I jumped on it and decided to try it out. KAF blog said that it is not as difficult as it looks and I took their word for it since you know KAF is my trusted baking site. Sure enough it turned out be quite simple and straightforward. It does take a lot of time because of all the periods when you need to let it rise but it’s not active time. So start well in advance – around 4-5 hours before you need it. Or freeze/refrigerate it the previous day. The result was very impressive and yummy! It was the star of the get-together I followed the recipe as it is without any changes.
- 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
- 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
- 3/4 cup + 2 to 4 tablespoons lukewarm water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup sugar*
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- First, measure the flour by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.
- To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients and mix and knead in a food processor to make a soft, smooth dough.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise until it's nearly doubled in bulk. I kept it for 60 minutes and it was half way there. Then since it’s winter here and we do keep our house temperature on the cooler side I kept it in the oven with the light on for another 30 minutes or so.
- Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, cover the balls, and allow them to rest for 15 minutes. Again I put it in the oven.
- On a lightly greased or floured work surface, roll one piece of dough into a 10" circle. Place the circle on a piece of parchment, brush a thin coat of beaten egg on the surface, then evenly sprinkle with 1/3 of the cinnamon-sugar, leaving 1/4" of bare dough around the perimeter.
- Roll out a second circle the same size as the first, and place it on top of the filling-covered circle. Repeat the layering process — egg, cinnamon sugar, dough circle — leaving the top circle bare.
- Place a 2 1/2" to 3" round cutter in the center of the dough circle as a guide. With a bench knife or sharp knife, cut the circle into 16 equal strips, from the cutter to the edge, through all the layers.
- 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.
- Pinch the pairs of strips together to create a star-like shape with eight points. Remove the cutter.
- Transfer the star on the parchment to a baking sheet. Cover the star and let it rise until it becomes noticeably puffy, about 45 minutes.
- While the star is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Brush the star with a thin coat of the beaten egg. Bake it for 12 to 15 minutes, until it's nicely golden with dark brown cinnamon streaks; the center should register 200°F on a digital thermometer.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.
- Store any leftover bread, well wrapped in plastic, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.