I was watching a few videos and came across one where some sweet, enriched, dough was shaped as stars. That seemed like a good idea, particularly around the holiday season. But I think they are good at any time, just as something a little different.
So I decided to make a version myself. I considered using a brioche recipe for the base of my dough but ultimately decided that the dough I used for making Maritozzi(Maritozzo) would work very well.
What I liked about this idea was that the buns could be used in a number of ways. For instance they are sweet enough to eat just as a sweet bun. But they can also be sliced and filled with some whipped cream and fruit such as strawberries for a lovely dessert. They can also be torn apart and dipped in a sauce, such as chocolate, or even something like Nutella.
The shape too could be adjusted since the base dough is very good just as buns. A bagel shape would be very good too, though with a much different consistency.
As well as being slightly sweetened the buns are lovely and soft with a great texture.
The recipe is not too difficult. Of course, being a yeasted dough, it takes some time and effort, but that is certainly worth it.
Now I am the first to admit that I am not great at some of the shaping and decorating techniques. So I am sure that others could shape their stars better than I managed. However I think mine were not too bad.
I should also mention that I made 6 large star buns but a smaller version would also be very good.
I did make a change to my recipe part way through. I had intended to brush the buns with egg white before baking. But then I decided that egg yolk would actually allow the buns to brown more on the top, so I used that instead.
I baked the buns for 18 minutes and tested the internal temperature. It had reached 98C so I was sure the dough was fully baked. So I removed the buns from the oven and placed them on a wire rack to cool.
Then I broke one open and checked the crumb. It was baked well, and was very soft and springy.
The eating experience was great too. The slight sweetness of the soft dough, with the added sweetness from pearl sugar, was very good indeed. I ate the first bun just as it was, which worked very well indeed. But filling the buns or dipping them would be even better, I am sure.
If you would prefer the original buns here is the recipe for Soft Cream Buns(Maritozzi).
Star Buns – Soft Sweet BunsCourse: Bread, Christmas, DessertsDifficulty: Medium
500g(3 1/3 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) strong white bread flour
250ml(1 cup + 2 tsp) lukewarm milk(about 39C/100F)
70g(6 tbsp minus 1 tsp) caster sugar
70g(5 tbsp) vegetable oil
1 medium egg(large in USA)
5g( 1 2/3 tsp) instant yeast
pinch of salt
One egg yolk for brushing
Pearl sugar for sprinkling
- Place the flour and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer(you can do it by hand too, but kneading will take longer), and mix together.
- Add the sugar, egg, milk and oil and knead with the dough hook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the dough is stretchy and quite smooth, adding the salt once the dough has come together.
- Tip the dough onto a work surface and form into a tight ball.
- Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to proof for about 2 hours, in a warm place. The dough needs to more than double in size.
- Tip the dough onto the work surface and knock out the air.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal portions.
- Form each portion into balls and the flatten each ball into a disc, letting them rest as you do the others.
- When the discs have been formed start with the first one and cut 3 slits in the centre of the disc. The first slit should be straight down the centre, the second will go diagonally across the first and the third will dissect the point where the first two slits cross.
- That should give 6 pointed triangles inside the dough. Lift the points and turn the dough inside out, so the points are forming the star shape. You can adjust the shape a little too.
- Brush the top of each star with some beaten egg yolk, then cover and allow them to rest for one hour.