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Cardamom almond star bread surrounded by Christmas cards and ornaments.

High Altitude Cardamom Almond Star Bread

Heather Smoke
This beautiful cardamom scented star bread is filled with butter and sweet almond filling, twisted into a star shape, and then baked until golden brown.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Rising Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings10

Equipment

  • Large Baking Sheet + Parchment Paper
  • Stand Mixer with Dough Hook
  • Rolling Pin
  • Wax Paper
  • Scissors

Ingredients
 

Dough

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup whole milk or buttermilk
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry or instant/rapid rise yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 ¾ cups bread flour, spooned and leveled, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature

Filling

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, very soft, almost melted
  • 12.5 oz (1 can) "almond cake and pastry filling" (not almond paste)

Other

  • 1 egg white, for egg wash
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar

Instructions
 

Dough

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the milk and stir. Warm the mixture just until it reaches between 110-115 degrees F.
    If it gets too hot, let it sit for a few minutes until it cools down to the correct temperature. It's important that you check the temperature – if it's too cold, it won't activate the yeast, and if it's too hot, it will kill the yeast.
  • Remove the milk from the heat, and stir in the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let stand for about 5 minutes until bubbly.
    If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step, and just proceed to the next step of mixing everything together.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the warm milk mixture with all but 1/2 cup of the flour, along with the rest of the sugar, salt, cardamom, extracts and egg.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes with the dough hook on low speed, very gradually adding the last 1/2 cup of flour, as needed. Don't use more than a total of 2 3/4 cups flour, or your bread will be too dense.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with non-stick baking spray or oil, and scrape the dough into the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size.
    If your oven has a bread-proofing setting, you can use that to proof your dough. If not, let your oven preheat to the lowest setting, turn the oven off, and then set your dough inside to rise.
  • After the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 4 equal sections, shape each into a ball, then roll each ball out into a circle measuring about 10 inches in diameter.

Filling and Assembly

  • Line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment baking paper.
  • Place 1 circle of dough on the baking sheet, and spread the dough with 1 tablespoon of soft butter. Spread with about 1/3 cup of the almond filling.
  • Repeat layering the dough, butter and almond filling, until you have 4 layers of dough with 3 layers of filling. The last layer of dough placed on top will not have any filling on top of it.
    Note: You may not use all of the almond filling, so you'll have a small amount leftover for another project.
  • Use a pair of scissors to trim the edges so you have a a fairly even circle.
  • Now place a small bowl or other round object measuring about 3 inches in diameter to mark the center of the bread. When you cut the dough, you will not be cutting into the center circle.
  • Use a pair of scissors to make 16 even cuts around the dough, stopping at the edge of the center circle, as shown in this post's photos.
  • Take 2 cut strips, and twist them away from each other, then press the ends together. Do this with the remaining strips of dough to form 8 points.
  • Let the dough rest for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven.

Bake

  • Preheat the oven to 325 F, and position a rack in the center of the oven.
  • After the shaped bread has rested for 20 minutes, it's ready to bake. Lightly brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg white, then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.
  • Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and the center is baked through.
  • Cool for about 15 minutes, then enjoy the bread while it's warm and soft.

Notes

After the bread has cooled, you can store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.  Rewarm individual pieces at 50% power in the microwave to soften the texture again.
Keyword Almond Paste, Christmas, Star Bread
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