This Saffron and Cinnamon Bread Star is a stunning centrepiece that’s so pretty nobody will want to be the first to cut into it. Enriched, soft, golden saffron dough layered with sweet cinnamon scented butter and folded into a festive star shape. It’s so, so good. This certainly is sometimes a little different to serve over the Christmas holiday.
Saffron has an earthy yet sweet-like-honey flavour. The glorious golden colour is a pleasing pick-me-up in December, the darkest of months. I’m certain this is why Swedes love it so.
I have broken this recipe down with easy to follow photos and guidelines on how to make this stunning bread.
Saffron is an exceptionally expensive spice I know, and it’s certainly not something you would use every day, it’s a festive treat. However you can make this bread with other flavour additions, see my tips below.
This bread is very simple to make if you just follow the step-by-step guide. The result is really impressive, I urge you to give it a try.
Festive Saffron & Cinnamon Bread Star
- 500 g strong white bread flour
- 240 ml milk
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ g saffron
- 40 g caster sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 25 g fresh yeast or 10g fast action yeast
- 100 g butter room temperature
- 100 g unsalted butter
- 45 g caster sugar
- ½ tsp plain flour
- 1½ Tbls cinnamon
- extra egg for glazing
- Sugar nibs
- Place the flour, sugar and salt in a free standing mixer. Place the saffron in a pestle and mortar and grind. Add a little of the milk to the mortar and stir to loosen any saffron, pour this into a small saucepan and add the remaining milk. Heat the saffron milk to 38C, remove from the heat and then add the fresh yeast and stir. If you’re using fast action pour it over the flour. Pour the milk mixture over the flour and turn the mixer on medium-low. Now add the egg and blend for a minute or so. Once the egg is incorporated add the butter and continue to mix. Once it has blended with the dough increase the pace to medium-high and work the dough for another 5-6 minutes or until it feels smooth, silky and shiny. Place in a large bowl, cover and prove for 30 minutes.
- Mix together the butter, sugar, cinnamon and flour to make a smooth paste.
- Rolling the dough– After your dough has proved sprinkle a work surface with flour. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Roll each portion into approximately 25cm circle. Have a baking sheet lined with parchment paper ready. Using a plate or a pastry case base measuring 23cm as a guide, cut each round. Place one disc on the parchment paper and spread with half of the cinnamon butter. Follow with the second disc and spread with the remaining cinnamon butter. Finish by placing the final disc on the top. Find the centre of the stacked disc and make a mark. Then using a star or round cutter make an indentation. Now you need to cut 16 even slices.
- Dab a little egg wash on the tip of each slice. Now proceed to twist 2 slices, 3 times, pressing the ends together. Continue until they’re all twisted. Cover and prove for 30-50 minutes, depending on the room temperature. It should be approximately a third bigger once proved.
- Meanwhile, set the oven shelf to the middle position and preheat to 175C Fan.
- Brush the star with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar nibs, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. You can serve warm dusted with a little icing sugar.
- This bread is best eaten on the day of baking however it can be frozen for up to 2 months and reheated in the oven before serving.
- Substitute the saffron with cardamom. Use 5g freshly ground and add to the flour before mixing.