I’m sure you’ve heard of star bread. It’s usually of the cinnamon variety. This spiced chocolate star bread was actually born out attempting to make the cinnamon version over Christmas. I was visiting family and got up early Christmas morning to make breakfast. I didn’t make sure they had cinnamon, because I thought.. hey.. everyone has it. It’s a pantry staple. Well, it turns out their toddler had recently smashed their bottle of it so they in fact did NOT have cinnamon. Wellll crap. What am I going to fill this bread with. I almost went with jam, but I remembered I had been thinking about making a chocolate version and went looking for what they had.
One of my favorite breads I’ve baked over the past few years was Povitica. It’s kind of like babka but the dough is rolled out MUCH thinner, then a mix of cocoa and cinnamon (and walnuts) is the filling. It might sound odd but chocolate and cinnamon actually go very well together. So after raiding the pantry I decided to go with cocoa and all spice. It turned it into a kind of spiced chocolate which was really nice. Spiced chocolate star bread is born. Sometimes, mistakes turn out to not be mistakes at all. Learning to think on your feet can be a blessing.
I have made this bread with both Dutch processed cocoa and regular and didn’t make a huge difference. The Dutch processed was a little bit richer in the cocoa taste so if you love chocolate maybe go with that, but either will work. The filling is not overly sweet, so the glaze kind of pulls it together and makes it sweeter. If you don’t want to glaze the top, I might add a little more sugar to the filling.
- 480 g Bread Flour 4 cups
- 2¼ tsp Instant yeast
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 large Egg room temp
- 1 cup Whole or 2% milk warm, about 100°F
- 50 g Granulated Sugar ¼ cup
- 4 tbsp Unsalted butter softened
- 2-3 tbsp Unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp Granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp Dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Dutch processed cocoa
- 1 tsp Allspice
- 2 oz Cream Cheese softened
- ½ cup Powdered sugar
- ½ tsp Orange extract
- ½-1 tbsp Milk, Cream or Half & Half
- Combine all dough ingredients except butter in bowl of stand mixer with dough hook attached. Mix until dough comes together into a rough ball.
- Add butter 1 tbsp at a time, waiting to add the next until butter has completely been worked into dough.
- Mix dough on low for 5-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Shape dough into a ball, cover bowl and let dough rise in a warm area until dough has doubled in size. About 1-2 hours.
- When dough is almost ready, mix together sugar, brown sugar, allspice and sift in cocoa powder in a small bowl.
- Punch down dough and divide into 4 equal pieces.
- Roll out first piece of dough into about a 12" circle. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Spread butter thinly over dough, leaving about ½" border. Sprinkle spiced cocoa mix over the buttered area of dough.
- Repeat with next two pieces of dough, stacking dough on top of each other.
- Roll out last piece of dough, placing over the previous pieces but do not butter or add cocoa mix.
- Using a cookie cutter or small glass about 2½" in diameter, place in center of circle. Make 4 cuts into the dough, cutting circle into quarters, but not completely. The center circle stays in-tact.
- Cut each quarter in half, and then each piece in half again, ending with 16 pieces, all still connected in the center.
- Take two pieces next to each other and twist them away from each other one full twist so that the top of the dough when you started is back facing up again when you finish the twist. Pinch the ends together, creating a point.
- Repeat this twisting of the dough all the way around, leaving 8 star points when finished.
- Cover dough with a tea towel or greased cling wrap and let rise for about 45 minutes to an hour. Dough will have puffed up when ready to bake.
- Preheat oven after dough has been rising for about 35-40 minutes to 375°F
- Bake bread on center rack for 25-30 minutes. Bread will be golden brown and internal temp will reach 190°F.
- While dough is baking, mix together glaze ingredients in a small bowl.
- When dough comes out of the oven, spread glaze over bread.
- Bread can be eaten after coming out of the oven and being glazed. It is best enjoyed warm, so if there are leftovers it would be best to reheat in microwave or oven,
- Vanilla extract can be substituted for orange extract in glaze if you do not have or care for orange. There will be a slight flavor difference but they are just as delicious.
- Bread can be kept in a tupperware for 1-2 days after baking. Even though there is cream cheese in the glaze, sugar helps preserve the cream cheese, preventing spoiling.
- This bread actually is best reheated in the microwave as it will keep it soft
- All purpose flour can also be used in lieu of bread flour.