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Cinnamon sourdough star bread, with a piece ripped off.

Sourdough Star Bread

Sourdough star bread is both fun and festive. It is the perfect bread to make for your next holiday party. Even though this cinnamon star bread recipe is impressive looking, its actually incredibly easy to make.

Holiday star bread recipe being pulled apart.

Why I Love This Recipe

This sourdough star bread is made with a tender, slightly sweet dough. It is filled with a warm cinnamon sugar filling, and topped with powdered sugar. All these flavors are twisted together and shaped into a snow flake, making it a delicious and stunning winter breakfast treat or dessert.

This recipe is easy to follow with step-by-step photos that show you how to shape star bread. It also includes two sample bakers timelines to help you easily plan ahead.

This sourdough sourdough star bread is an enriched dough, so it is very forgiving with fermentation and rise times, making it wonderful recipe for seasoned and beginner sourdough bakers alike. To make this recipe you will need a sourdough starter. If you’re not sure what sourdough starter is, check out my How to Make a Sourdough Starter post to learn all about it.

Ingredients

Every ingredient plays an important role when making this sourdough star bread. This list explains the role of each ingredient when making this recipe, and also offers possible substitutions. See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients with their amounts.

The Dough Ingredients

  • Milk – Incorporating milk adds moisture, replacing the need for water. It also adds fat to enrich the dough, making these rolls soft and fluffy.
  • Sourdough Starter – This recipe uses Sourdough Starter to make the dough rise instead of baker’s yeast. Make sure your starter is fed the night before you plan to bake, so it is active and bubbly when you mix the dough.
  • Granulated Sugar – Granulated sugar makes the dough sweet. It also gives the wild yeast in your starter a boost, helping the dough to rise. I use raw organic sugar when baking, but any sugar will work.
  • Bread Flour –  For this recipe, I used organic bread flour. Bread flour will yield the best results, but If substituting with all-purpose flour, increase the amount of flour called for by 35g.
  • Salt – Salt is added to enhance flavor and strengthen the dough.
  • Unsalted Butter – Butter enriches this dough and makes it soft and tender. I use unsalted butter when baking, but you can use salted by omitting the salt in this recipe.

Filling Ingredients

  • Unsalted Butter – Butter helps the cinnamon sugar filling stick to the dough and adds richness to the filling. Melt the butter so that it can be brushed on the dough in a thin even layer.
  • Granulated Sugar – Granulated sugar makes the filling for this star bread sweet. Brown sugar can be used to make this filling extra rich.
  • Cinnamon – Cinnamon perfectly spices the filling and gives this star bread a cinnamon roll like quality. You can get creative and add spices like nutmeg, cloves, and ginger to make this recipe even more festive.
a close up of sourdough star bread.

Sample Bakers Schedule

Sourdough baked goods have much longer rise times than recipes that call for bakers yeast. Sourdough star bread will need to rise anywhere from 8-10 hours for bulk fermentation, and 1-2 hours for second rise. This makes sourdough starter the perfect yeast to use when making them, allowing you a convenient overnight rise that will give you warm festive star bread for breakfast. Star bread is great any time of day though, so below you will find two separate sample bakers schedules; one that will give you star bread just in time for breakfast, and one that will give you star bread for an extra special after dinner dessert.

What is Sourdough Starter? The dough for this recipe rises using a sourdough starter instead of conventional baker’s yeast. These rolls have the cozy goodness of traditional cinnamon rolls with the added health benefits of sourdough. If you’re not sure what a sourdough starter is, check out my “How to Make a Sourdough Starter” post to learn all about it.

Sourdough Star Bread for Breakfast

9 PM (day 1): Mix the dough ingredients together.

9:30 PM (day 1): Strengthen the dough and cover to bulk ferment overnight.

6 AM (day 2): Assemble, cut, and twist the star bread.

8AM (day 2): Bake the sourdough star bread.

9 AM (day 2): Dust with powdered sugar and serve while still warm.

Sourdough Star Bread for Dessert

6:30 AM: Mix the dough ingredients together.

7 AM: Strengthen the dough and cover to bulk ferment.

4 PM: Assemble, cut, and twist the star bread.

6 PM: Bake the sourdough star bread.

6:30 PM: Dust with powdered sugar and serve while still warm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour for bread flour?

Bread flour will give this sourdough star bread the best rise and the softest crumb. If using whole wheat or all-purpose flour, you will need to increase the amount of flour by 35g or reduce the milk called for in the recipe and strengthen the dough a bit more.

How do I store my leftover star bread?

To store any leftover sourdough star bread, place it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

What is the best way to reheat leftover star bread?

You can reheat leftover star bread pieces individually in the microwave for 30 seconds each, or reheat the whole star bread in a 300°F (150°C) preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through.

Can I make star bread ahead of time?

To make star bread and bake later, cover the unbaked star tightly and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or place it in the freezer for up to a week. When you are ready to bake, allow the star bread to come to room temperature and perform the second rise.

Cinnamon sourdough star bread, with a piece ripped off.

More Fun Sourdough Recipes

Sourdough Star Bread

5 from 4 votes
Recipe by Samantha Citro Course: Sourdough Bread Recipes, Sourdough Recipes, Sweet RecipesCuisine: American
Servings

8

servings
Cooking time

35

minutes
Total time

12

hours 

Sourdough star bread is both fun and festive. It is the perfect bread to make for your next holiday party. Even though this cinnamon star bread recipe is impressive looking, its actually incredibly easy to make.

Ingredients

  • The Dough
  • 200 g 200 whole milk

  • 100 g 100 sourdough starter, active and bubbly

  • 75 g 75 granulated sugar

  • 475 g 475 bread flour

  • 8 g 8 salt

  • 4 tbs 4 unsalted butter, room temperature

  • The Filling
  • 6 tbs 6 unsalted butter, melted

  • 2/3 cup 2/3 granulated sugar

  • 1 tbs 1 ground cinnamon

Directions

  • Mix the Dough
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and active sourdough starter until the starter is fully dissolved. Next, whisk in the granulated sugar until well incorporated.
  • Sift the flour and salt into the bowl, stirring until a shaggy dough begins to form. Then, add the room temperature butter, mixing either by hand or with a stand mixer until fully incorporated. It is important to use room temperature butter or this step will be difficult. You can test the butter’s softness by pressing your finger into it. If you can easily push all the way through without resistance, then the butter is ready.
  • Strengthen the Dough
  • After mixing, cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for 20 minutes allowing the flour to fully absorb all the liquid.
  • Uncover the dough and knead it on medium speed with a dough hook attachment for approximately 12 minutes. The dough is ready when it becomes smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If working without a stand mixer strengthen knead the dough by hand for the same amount of time.
  • Bulk Fermentation
  • Cover the bowl with a damp cloth to bulk ferment the dough at 71°F(21°C) for 8-10 hours, or overnight. The dough will need to rise until it is double its original size. It’s important to note that rise times can vary based on the temperature in your home, so adjust the time accordingly.
  • Roll and Shape
  • In a small bowl combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon to create the filling, and set aside.
  • Before turning out the dough, lightly dust your work surface with flour. Divide the dough into four equal portions and gently shape them into round balls.
  • Gently pat down each dough ball and use a floured rolling pin to roll each one out into a 11″ circle.
  • Starting with one sheet of dough, place it onto a parchment paper lined pizza pan or cookie sheet, and gently brush the top with melted butter. Spread 1/3 of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top.
  • Taking a second sheet of dough, evenly place it on top and repeat the last step. Continue to do this until all the dough sheets are layered, leaving the top of the last sheet bare.
  • Place a small cup in the center on the top sheet of dough. Using a cookie cutter make 16 evenly spaced cuts from the edge of the dough to the edge of the cup.
  • Taking two side by side strips of cut dough, twist them away from each other, rotating a total of three times. Bring the ends of the strips together and pinch to seal. Repeat this all the way around the star bread.
  • Second Rise
  • Let the star bread rise at a temperature of around 71°F (21°C) for one to two hours. During this second rise it will increase in size and become visibly poofy. It’s important to note that rise times can vary based on the temperature in your home, so adjust the time accordingly. See notes for a way to speed up second rise times.
  • Bake
  • Position the star bread on the center rack of a 350°F (177°C) preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Once the star bread is out of the oven allow it to cool for 15 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar, serve, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Plan Ahead: Sourdough baked goods have a long rise time. Take a look at my Sample Bakers Schedule before you begin so you have a better idea on when to begin and how to plan ahead.
  • Speed up Second Rise: For a quicker second rise, preheat your oven and place your pan on top of the stove. The heat the oven gives off will allow your rolls to rise much quicker.

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5 Comments

  1. Another hit! Loved this recipe. First off – it’s stunning and delicious. But the best part is how straightforward and simple the recipe is. I’ve made it twice now – did a practice run and then one to bring to a holiday party. I don’t typically stock bread flour so the first time I increased as noted, second time I only increased by 20g and found it ever so slightly easier to work with. Strong recommend!

  2. Does this recipe intentionally leave out the egg? I’ve made lots of your recipes in the past and I currently have this is the stand mixer and it’s very dense and firm, not like the typical ones!

  3. For the second rise, could I do it in the fridge for 8-10 hours?

    • I would allow it to undergo second rise at room temperature, then put it in the fridge until you are ready to bake. Since it is such an enriched dough there will be very little rise that happens when chilled. I hope this helps Amy!

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