Christmas Star Bread

Merry Christmas to you all from polluted Shanghai!

As spending the holiday working in China was not depressing enough, another round of heavy pollution has arrived today, reaching almost 400 PM level!

I am at the office now (lunch break) seated next to a big air purifier, hoping that can help a bit. I am also waiting for my BluAir purifier to arrive, so that I can try to “protect” myself even at home.

This whole air quality issue has been bothering me quite a bit. Shanghai used to  “better”, at least compared to other Chinese cities. But recently the PM levels have gone up a bit too often.  I really hope this is not going to become the standard here (as it is in Beijing), an that the wind will blow all this away soon.

As for now, let’s try to survive with masks and air-purifiers….

Back to Christmas, me and some friends had a small party to celebrate and  I made a new type of bread, shaped like a star. For the dough I used my brioche bread recipe. For the filling I have used orange jam and raisins, but you can also add some cinnamon, or use nutella or chocolate chips. Just follow your taste and have fun with it!

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients (make one):

for the sponge

  • 50 g of all purpose or bread flour
  • 2 tbsp dry instant yeast
  • 65 ml whole fat milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar

for the bread

  • 200 g all purpose or bread flour
  • 60 ml whole fat milk
  • 40 g sugar
  • 100 g dry raisins
  • 50 g candied fruits
  • 45 g butter
  • 1 small egg

for the filling/decoration

  • 180 g orange jam
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar

For making the brioche bread, follow the instruction of my Christmas Bread post. Once you have made the dough and let it raise for 2 hours, put it into a Ziplock bag and store it in the fridge overnight.
The following morning, take the dough out of the fridge onto your kitchen counter, and let it rest for about 1 hour at room temperature.DSC_0876


Next, divide the dough into 5 parts, roll out each piece into a circle of about 22-13 cm.

Spread the first circle with jam, then sprinkle some raisin and cover with the second circle. Repeat for the other 4.


Cover with the last circle


then cut them into 12 segments staying away from the center for about 2-3 cm.


Roll 2 segments together from the outside to the inside for 2 times


Move the bread into a baking tray and bake in pre-heated oven at 180 C for about 45-50 min. Remove and let the bread cool down completely.


Then sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.
P.S. I had to leave to go to work so did not have a chance to take a picture of the final bread during the day. When I got back home at 7 pm, was already dark outside, so here is the shots I got —



– LittleDani

About the author:

An Italian living in China with a strong passion for cooking! Browse my 'left-overs' session for many tasty grub!. Follow her on Twitter / Facebook.