by Amy Bradley
I made the King Arthur Flour Cinnamon Star Bread for us to enjoy during the holidays. We both loved it. Yes, it’s a bit time consuming, but it’s simple. And there are so many possibilities to make from the master dough recipe – hence, I am proud to introduce Peach, Bacon and Brie Sunburst bread!
Bread dough and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with each other. I nearly always have issues with rising the dough. I finally realized the problem and solution, which I share as part of the recipe instructions. We keep our house relatively cool, which is good for us, but bad for dough rising. The ideal temperature needed for rising dough is between 75 and 80°F. So I use the oven rising method, since I don’t have a proofing drawer. Simply heat the oven to about 200°F, shut it off, then input your bread dough with the oven door slightly ajar. After about 15 minutes, close the oven door to trap the warmth and let the yeast do the rest of the work. For this bread, it only needs to double in size, which is not that big.
What I really love about this bread is the fact that it’s hard to really mess up. The shape of the rolled out dough doesn’t need to be perfect. You can either twist it and leave it, like I did to achieve a sun or flower design, or you can press the ends of two sections together (totaling 8 points) to create more of a star or snowflake look.
This is a delightful combination of sweet and savory is perfect for any occasion. You could eat this as an appetizer to share with loved ones, or as a meal if you want. The arms of the Sunburst pull off from the center of the bread, making it great to share. The only problem is your hands might get a bit sticky from this recipe – it’s worth it, though! (You can always use a knife and fork like a civilized person, too.)
I was a little concerned with how much the preserves leaked out, but it ended up just fine. Yes, it’s a little gooey. Yes, some of the leaked preserves burned a little. But that’s ok! The burned part easily breaks off and any stuck to the bread just adds a little sweet crunch. The taste is deliciously unique and the bread is so soft and fluffy – don’t miss out on this delectable treat.
Peach, Bacon & Brie Sunburst Bread Recipe
For the bread (King Arthur Flour master recipe):
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
- 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk or dry buttermilk mix
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup of luke-warm water
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 1 (12 oz.) jar of peach preserves
- 3 1/2 large slices of thick cut bacon, chopped and cooked
- 1/2 cup of chopped Brie cheese, rind removed
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Optional: Dried basil seasoning, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 200°F.
- Combine all of the bread ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer. Combine using the dough hook attachment. *Note: I start with 3/4 cup of water and add more as the dough mixes, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is smooth, fully combined and easily pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Lightly grease a medium to large sized bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, then cover with plastic wrap.
- Turn off the oven, then place the covered bowl inside the warmed oven. Leave the door to the oven ajar slightly. Let rise inside the oven with the door ajar for 15 minutes, then close the oven door and let the dough rise for another 1 hour to 1 hour, 15 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size. (My dough took 1 hour, 20 minutes to double in size.)
- Once the dough has completed its initial rise, divide it into four equal parts using a sharp knife or bench scraper. Shape each piece into a ball. Cover the dough balls and let sit for 15-20 minutes.
- While the dough sits, take time to chop the Brie, and to chop and cook the bacon. The bacon should be cooked but not yet crispy. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a clean, lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the first dough ball into a 10 inch circle. Place the dough on the parchment paper then top with a thin layer of peach preserves (between 3 and 4 tablespoons), chopped bacon and Brie. Repeat this for the next 2 dough balls, layering each circle and filling on top of the previous one.
- Roll out the final ball of dough and place it on the top of the layers.
- Place a 2 1/2 to 3 inch cookie cutter at the center of the layered dough – do not cut through – this will act only as a guide. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut 16 equal sections around the cookie cutter center. It will look like a flower of sorts.
- Preheat the oven to 200°F again. Remove the cookie cutter from the center of the dough. Gently take each section and twist it once or twice. Twist each in the same direction. The filling may ooze out a little, which is ok. Push any Brie or bacon pieces back in to the dough if it comes out.
- Cover lightly with plastic wrap. Turn off the oven, and place the baking sheet with shaped, covered bread inside the warm oven. Leave the oven door slightly ajar. Let rise for 15 minutes, then close the oven door and let it rise for an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove bread from the oven, but leave covered. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Let the bread rest for another 15 minutes on the counter while the oven preheats.
- At this point, the bread will be puffy and some preserves may have leaked out. This is ok. You can sop up the liquid with paper towels if desired, but it is not required. Brush the top of the bread with beaten egg and optionally sprinkle some dried basil over the top.
- Bake for 15-19 minutes, or until golden brown. 17 minutes was the perfect time for our oven.
- Let bread cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm. *Note: This bread will be gooey and a little sticky. You may also notice some of the preserves that leaked out are crispy and almost burnt. This should easily break off the sides.
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