This post is sponsored by Mezzetta. Thank you for supporting the brand partnerships that make Fare Isle possible!
Well, we made it to December, so we might as well eat all the holiday carbs, you feel me? I remember my mom making savory stuffed bread around Christmastime. The house would fill with the most delicious smells of melty cheese, veggies, and even meats baking inside of a braided loaf. We’d wait impatiently, asking “is it done yet?”, to be handed a warm slice and undoubtedly coming back to ask for another.
Filled with Flavor
The lovely folks at Mezzetta asked me to create a holiday recipe with their products and my mind went straight to a festive stuffed star bread. The filling consists of Mezzetta Marinated Artichoke Hearts and Castelvetrano Olives along with baby spinach, and a mix of creamy dairy and cheeses. If you have not tried Castelvetrano Olives yet you really need to remedy that. These are my absolute favorite olives to use in recipes and for snacking. They are rich and buttery and not overly salty like many olives tend to be.
Sourdough or Don’t
The recipe below is made with sourdough but if you don’t bake with sourdough starter then just use your favorite pizza dough recipe or use store-bought pizza dough for an easy time-saver. You’ll need about 2lbs of dough for this recipe.
Making the Star Shape
To create the star shape you divide the dough into fours and roll or hand-stretch each piece out into a flat circle about 10″ wide. Then layer the dough and filling, stacking layers as you go, ending with a layer of dough. It’s kind of like a tower of pizza at this stage. Place a small round dish or cup on the center of the top layer to use as a template and cut through the layers to make 16 even strips of dough. Once you remove the dish it will look like a sun or flower at this stage. To make the star points pick up a pair of cut strips, one in each hand, and twist them away from each other 2-3 times then pinch the ends tightly together to seal them. This part does get a little messy and some of the fillings will ooze out as you twist the dough. But this is rustic bread so don’t stress about it!
An egg wash gives the bread a lovely golden hue when baked. I like to top it with sesame seeds, flaky sea salt, and more grated parmesan.
For a vegan-friendly version swap the dairy with thick coconut yogurt and vegan cream cheese or whipped tofu (processed until smooth in a food processor), and vegan cheese alternatives. Leave out the egg and use non-dairy milk to replace the egg-wash.
tips and tricks
- If the dough is too elastic and doesn’t want to roll or stretch out easily, let it rest for 5 minutes to relax the gluten then continue on.
- I suggest lining the sheet pan with 2 sheets of parchment paper and layering and cutting the bread right on the sheet pan because it is heavy and not easy to move once it’s been shaped into a star. The double layer of parchment will ensure you don’t cut through to the sheet pan and will make the bread easier to transfer after it’s baked.
- You can pulse the filling in a food processor a few times to break it down so it will be easier to cut through the layers.