savory tear and share star bread before baking
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Savory Sourdough Star Bread with Winter-y Pesto Filling

This impressive tear and share star bread is stunning and easy to make.  Learn how to make shape star bread filled with a savory pesto of winter greens, evergreens, and oranges with tangy sourdough for a festive holiday loaf!

Equipment

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 2 tablespoons well fed, active sourdough starters or one teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 cups whole milk warmed to about 100 degrees F
  • 1 cup bread flour

The Rest of the Dough

  • 4-5 cups bread flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

Winter-y Evergreen Pesto

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts lightly toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups lightly packed shredded kale
  • 1/2 cup rosemary or fir needles
  • 1 tablespoon orange yest
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
  • 1/2+ cup extra virgin olive oil

To top the star bread

  • eggwash
  • kosher or herbed salts

Instructions

  • In a stand mixer or a large bowl, add you sourdough starter (or yeast), warmed milk and one cup bread flour. Mix well and set aside for 20 minutes.
  • While mixing slowly add the melted butter and salt. Add flour until the dough is soft and elastic, and just barely beyond the point of being sticky.
  • Knead for three to four minutes on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a large, generously oiled bowl, flipping once to make sure the entire surface on the dough is lightly coated in oil, and cover with plastic film or a cloth. Set aside in a draft free area and allow the dough to rise about 12-18 hours if using a sourdough starter (less so if using yeast), or until the dough ball is double in size.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor, add toasted pine nuts, garlic, kale, rosemary or fir needles, orange zest, salt and Parmesan cheese. Process until the mixture is well chopped then start drizzling in olive oil until the mixture becomes are spreadable paste. Set aside.
  • When the dough is doubled, gently punch dough and turn out onto a well floured work surface. Lightly knead dough and divide dough into four equally sized balls.
  • Roll the first ball out into a circle about 13" in diameter (or to fit your pan). Line your pan with parchment paper, then transfer your first round to the pan. Smear the surface of the dough round with a generous about of pesto. Repeat rolling out the dough circles, stacking, and smearing with pesto until you have four dough layers sandwiching three layers of pesto.
  • Place a jelly jar, round cookie cutter or cup in the middle of the dough circle to act as a guide. Divide into four quadrants, then divide each quadrant into four wedges until you have a total of 16 wedges radiating from the center. NOTE: use a sharp knife of pizza cutter to make your cuts as it will make the next step easier.
  • Grab two neighboring wedges. Twist them away from each other twice (see video), then pinch ends together. Continue this around the circle until you have eight twisty "rays." Cover lightly with plastic film and set aside to rest for about 20-30 minutes. Preheat your over to 375 degrees.
  • Before baking, brush lightly with egg wash and sprinkle generously with kosher or herbed salts. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the bread is richly golden in color. Remove for oven and cool.