'Tis the season for all the holiday baking! And all we want for Christmas...is this Christmasy Cranberry Star Bread made with Mountain Valley Sparkling Water from our friend Kyleigh Sage of Barley & Sage.
Pro tip: Mountain Valley Sparkling Water makes a great addition to your bread dough, pancake batter or even savory breadings for seafood or vegetables. Why, you ask? Well, science, of course. The bubbles in sparkling water can actually make batters and doughs lighter and fluffier by adding air bubbles that expand while baking. And baking with our flavored sparkling waters? Well, that adds the same airy lightness as well as an extra touch of flavor.
Now that you know the why, it's time for the how. See below for the step-by-step instructions on making this festive star bread at home - we've even included a video so you can make it just right. Let us know if you make this beautiful seasonal treat and tag us on Instagram or Facebook if you do.
Happy Holidays & Happy Baking from your friends at Mountain Valley!
Cranberry Star Bread
Prep time: 30 minutes (plus 2 hours rising time)
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 3 hours
- 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup Mountain Valley Sparkling Water
- 1 cup cranberry sauce
- 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
- Powdered sugar (for dusting)
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine all dough ingredients (flour, sugar, instant yeast, salt, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and Mountain Valley Sparkling Water) and mix on a low speed until the dough comes together as a smooth cohesive mass that cleanly pulls away from the sides of the bowl (5-10 minutes).
- The dough should be slightly sticky. If it's too dry and won't come together, add an additional tablespoon or two of Mountain Valley Sparkling Water. If the dough is too sticky, add in an additional tablespoon or two of flour.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. It will roughly double in size.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal size pieces and then shape into round balls.
- Take one ball and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Roll out into a circle that's roughly 1/4 inch thick and 10 inches in diameter. Set aside and repeat with the remaining dough balls.
- Transfer one of the dough circles (still on the parchment paper) to a large baking sheet. Spread about 1/3 cup of the cranberry sauce on top, leaving a 1/2 inch perimeter around the edges. Then carefully place another dough circle on top and stretch the dough to match up the edges. Then repeat until you've topped with the final layer of dough.
- Using a cookie cutter (or anything round), gently make a 2-3 inch impression directly in the center of the dough. Then using a bench knife, cut the dough into 16 equal sections, leaving the center circle in tact. I like to start with 4 cuts (north, south, east, and west). Then divide those sections in half to make 8, then again to make 16.
- Pick up 2 sections and twist them away from each other 3 times, then pinch the bottom edges together. Repeat with the remaining sections until you have 8 star points.
- Cover loosely and let rise for 45-60 minutes or until the dough is puffy.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Brush the star bread lightly with egg wash. Then bake for 25-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and an instant thermometer inserted near the middle reads 190°F. If the top is browning too quickly, tent with aluminum foil for the remainder of the bake time.
- Allow to cool completely to room temperature. Then lightly dust with powdered sugar.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Enjoy!