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Pistachio Star Bread

Pistachio Star Bread

This is a certain holiday show-stopper, with its beautiful rippled golden dough and deliciously nutty and floral pistachio fragrance. And with all that, it tastes as good as it looks!

Course Dessert
Keyword star bread
Servings 8 people
Calories 437 kcal

Ingredients

Bread Dough

  • 1/4 cup whole milk lukewarm
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon whole milk for egg wash

Pistachio Filling

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon flake kosher sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. For the bread dough, whisk together the yeast and milk in a small bowl and allow to sit at room temperature until yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, 1/2 cup of water, butter, vanilla extract, sugar, salt, and yeast mixture at low speed until the dough comes together. If it seems dry and crumbly, add up to 4 tablespoons more water. Continue mixing until a soft smooth dough forms. You can do this by hand, as well, and just knead the dough. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 60 minutes at room temperature out of direct sunlight.

  3. On a clean and lightly floured working surface, divide the dough into four equal parts and pat into rough square shapes (when I made this the bread dough weighed 22 ounces, so I used a kitchen scale to divide into 4 separate 5.5 ounce pieces). Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  4. While the dough is in the refrigerator, prepare the pistachio filling by pureeing together the butter, sugar, pistachios, salt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a blender or food processor until relatively smooth and the pistachios nuts have released their oils (it will be very fragrant). Set aside.

  5. Take one of the dough squares and roll it out on a piece of parchment paper into a roughly 9-inch square. Spread the surface with 1/3 of the pistachio mixture, leaving an empty 1-inch border around the edges, then set it aside.

  6. Take a second dough square and roll it out onto a piece of parchment paper, then flip it upside down on top of the first sheet of dough, peeling off the top layer of parchment paper and pressing around the edges gently to seal the two layers of dough together. Spread another 1/3 of the pistachio mixture onto the top layer of dough, leaving an empty 1-inch border around the edges, then repeat this process one more time so that you have three layers of buttered dough stacked on top of each other. (You can refer to the above video for the assembly steps).

  7. Roll out the fourth and final dough square onto a piece of parchment paper, then flip it upside down on top of the third sheet of dough, peeling off the top layer of parchment paper and pressing around the edges gently to seal the two layers of dough together. (This top layer does *not and will not* have any pistachio mixture on top of it.)

  8. Place a 2" lid of a jar in the center of the circle as a guide, and cut the circle into 16 equally-sized slices, leaving the center 2" connected. Twist the slices in pairs away from each other. Then pinch the ends of each pair together. Set the star aside to rise for 30 minutes at room temperature out of direct sunlight.

  9. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer the saffron star parchment paper onto a baking sheet and lightly brush the star with the egg wash. Bake in the oven until deeply golden and puffy, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
Pistachio Star Bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 437 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 597mg26%
Potassium 166mg5%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 20g22%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 605IU12%
Vitamin C 0.4mg0%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.