Have you been baking endlessly right now?
The last few days, I’ve been baking non-stop – homemade breads, muffins, pizzas, cinnamon rolls. It is bringing me much needed comfort (and much needed sweet foods!) when it’s so desperately needed right now.
If you’re looking for a baking project to get stuck into while you’re in lockdown, then this vegan Chocolate Cinnamon Tear & Share Bread is perfect! It looks beautiful, is incredibly therapeutic to make (I swear, kneading dough is the best kind of therapy!) and tastes divine. Plus, can you ever beat the smell of freshly-baked dough wafting through the house…?
It is the ultimate comfort food, and will make you look like a master baker. Although, I promise it isn’t as hard to make as it looks! It’s actually pretty easy…
Anyway, whatever the occasion, I promise that this chocolate star bread will brighten the mood! And that it won’t last for long.
Chocolate Star Bread
- Creates 1 large bread –
- 1 x 7g sachet dry instant yeast
- 1 cup warm plant milk (I used coconut milk)
- 4 tbsp coconut sugar
- 4 tbsp vegan butter, melted (I use Naturli)
- 2 tbsp aquafaba
- 3 1/2 cups plus up to 1/2 cup more spelt flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- For the chocolate filling –
- 1 x jar vegan Nutella
- 2 tbsp melted vegan butter
- 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- To top –
- 2 tbsp icing sugar or coconut sugar
N.B Watch this video from about 3.5 minutes in to see the steps!
- In a jug or small bowl, stir together the warm milk, 2 tbsp of the coconut sugar and the yeast. Cover with a tea towel and set aside for 15 minutes, or until foaming.
- Next, stir together the remaining coconut sugar with the 3 1/2 cups flour. Make a well in the centre, then pour in the activated yeast milk, as well as the aquafaba and melted butter. Mix together with a spoon until a dough forms.
- Tip out onto a lightly floured surface, then knead for 8-10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. If your dough is sticky, add the remaining flour – one tablespoon at a time – until you achieve a smooth dough as described. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, then cover with a clean tea towel and let it rise in a warm place for around an hour, or until doubled in size.
- In the meantime, make part of your filling by stirring together the chopped nuts, cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
- Once the dough has proved, prepare a clean, lightly floured work surface, then tip the dough out. Knead briefly and gently, then cut the dough into four, equally-sized pieces.
- Roll each piece into 10-inch circles (don’t worry if the circles aren’t perfect, you can correct this later on!).
- Take one circle and lay it in the middle of a large baking tray, lined with baking paper. Drizzle over 1/3 of the melted butter, gently smoothing the mixture across the dough. Now, spread over some Nutella (I used about 1.5 -2 tbsp), leaving a small gap of around 1/2 an inch at the sides. Sprinkle over 1/3 of the coconut sugar / nut mixture.
- Place a second circle on top, then repeat the steps above – add the butter, then Nutella and coconut sugar / cinnamon. Layer over the third circle and repeat again. Finally, top with the last circle (you do not need to add anything to this layer!). Take a circular pizza tray (or dinner plate) and lay gently over the top. Cut around the edges so that your dough now forms a perfect circle.
- Next, take a small glass and place it gently in the centre of the top circle. Cut 16 lines in the dough – leading from the outer edges, moving to the edge of the glass – to form a starburst pattern.
- Now, take two of the 16 pieces and twist the strands away from each other. After you have twisted, pinch the ends of the pair together. Repeat with the remaining 14 pieces so that you are left with an eight-legged star shape.
- Cover your star and tray, then set aside to rise in a warm place for a further 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat your oven to 180C. Lightly brush the top of your risen star with 1 tbsp coconut milk. Place in the oven to bake for 18-22 minutes, or until golden and puffed up. Sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy warm or cool. Best eaten on day of preparing.