How to make Star Bread! A delicious and fragrant cardamom-infused sweet bread, perfect for Winter Solstice, Christmas morning or the holidays! An easy step-by-step guide.
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. ~T. S. Eliot~
Here’s a cozy and delicious holiday recipe for Star Bread! What I love about this recipe is not only how beautiful and festive it looks, but how do-able this is. How lovely would this be on at your Winter Solstice gathering or on Christmas morning? The basic yeasted dough recipe is simple and what you add to it, is totally up to you!
It’s actually a fun and creative recipe to make and I would imagine that if you have kids who enjoy being in the kitchen with you- this would be a fun one to make together.
It’s surprisingly easy! Allow 2 hours for rising, 30 minutes hands-on time and 15 minutes for baking.
To make the Star Bread – make the dough in a stand mixer, let it rise, then divide into four balls.
Almond paste or jam would be a good filling here too. Once all four disks are seasoned and stacked, place a 2 ½- 3 inch round cookie cutter or bowl or cup in the center to use as a guide. Don’t press down!
Cut 16 strips, leaving the center in tact. Cut in quarters first, then eights, then sixteenths. Like a sunburst!
Take two strips (next to each other), one in each hand, and twist them 2 times away from each other, then pinch together the edges. Look at this photo below.
Gently pinch together the strips to form 8 points in this star.
It really need not be perfect.
Cover and let this rise again while oven preheats.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown! Brush with butter if you like and sprinkle with powdered sugar!
When it comes out, it will dazzle.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar or brush with butter.
Serve as a morning bread or with afternoon tea, decorating with fresh cranberries if you like.
On the homefront: It’s the Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year. It wasn’t until I moved to the Pacific Northwest that this began to have meaning. Here, and as I get older, it becomes more significant, not only in the physical world but in the spiritual world. For most of my life, I’ve resisted darkness, desperately seeking light, in all its forms. Physical and non-physical.
This year in particular has been a lesson in sitting with the darkness that inevitably comes to all of us, in time. Like night and day, winter and summer, it is half of the whole, the half I’ve tended to resist. For many years, I’ve simply not allowed it. Distracting and busying myself. Being productive. Denial. But it keeps surfacing, perhaps waiting for me to have enough courage to face it. We ALL have our shadows, the parts of ourselves we’d rather not acknowledge. The parts of ourselves we are not proud of.
Some days I’m acutely aware of it, as I carefully tiptoe along the steep edge, fearing the misstep that will plunge me down into the blackness. Despair. My husband calls it the nightmare box. I’ve fallen off that cliff before (haven’t we all?)- flailing, fighting against it, and in doing so, suffered greatly.
But there is a different way I’m told from the wise ones who have gone before us – acceptance. Witnessing and accepting all parts of myself, the good, the bad and the ugly -my fears, guilt, and shame, the most hidden of all. Facing the shadow, accepting what arises. My prayer to the universe today . . . give me the courage to sit with the darkness and simply allow it to be.
Sending you love and courage to embrace all.