You may have noticed that I’ve been making and gifting cookie platters from my photo yesterday. I put those together for the staff at my kids’ schools, Aaron’s work, our church staff and some larger families whom we are friends with. For smaller families I decided to gift pastries – for gluten free friends we’ve been doing Almond Puff Loaves and for everyone else we’ve been making these Cinnamon Star Loaves – both Bakealong favorites!
The bread has a sweet crunchy coating from a cinnamon sugar filling, but remains soft and tender due to the addition of potato flour and skim milk powder in the dough. The dough is one of those throw everything in the mixer and knead until smooth methods and is then left to rise until doubled.
What makes this a show stopper is in the shaping. The dough is divided into 4 balls and each ball is rolled into a circle and the circles are then stacks with and egg wash and cinnamon sugar filling in between the layers. Cut the circle into 16 sections, leaving a 2 inch circle intact in the middle. Then twist 2 sections and pinch them together all the way around the bread. The bread is left to rise again before the whole thing is egg washed and baked.
The effect and the flavors are very Christmassy without too much fuss. It is a great food gift sure to bring smiles and happy tummies!