I've been a sourdough roll (no pun intended) ever since Emilie Raffa's new book Artisan Sourdough Made Simple landed in my lap. If you've been following along on my instagram feed and daily stores you would have noticed all the baking happening lately. I'm getting into a weekly rhythm on making dough on Saturdays and baking on Sunday.
Last weekend it was more of her High Hydration sourdough loaves, which I shared the recipe for a couple of post back on the blog. I upped my game by ordering some Massachusetts grown and milled heritage wheat flours from Four Star Farms (not sponsored-just love) and the flavor and crumb of those last loaves were amazing! Flour DOES make a huge difference. Plus another batch of Emilie's Sunday Morning Bagels coated in all the toasty seeds that I love. They once again did not last very long. I strained some of my homemade vegan yogurt (tutorial here) to smear on them and it was a divine breakfasting experience. And lastly by certainly not least of all was this super festive holiday chai spice sweet dough loaf that you see here today.
I developed this recipe based off Emilie's sweet dough sourdough recipe and my spelt sourdough hot cross bun recipe plus inspiration from pretty star wreath loaves I've seen before usually made with a nutella filling. The dough calls for a little bit of honey, so it's not vegan but you can swap it with maple syrup or another sweetener of choice. This is another great way to use that chai spice mix you made for my Chai Spice Poached Pear Cake last month. Baking this beauty fills the home with a beautiful spicy festive aroma that will make all of your people come running to the kitchen. You can make these as cinnamon buns or a twist loaf too.
The star wreath is not as hard as it looks. I made stop motion video of the entire process below so watch and pause as needed for a visual guide to each step.
The video is linked below from my YouTube channel. I would love it of you guys could click through and subscribe there as well. You'll get instant updates every time a new video is posted. Hoping to post more videos more frequently in the coming year because I love making them!
This would make such a beautiful presentation on a holiday table, think Christmas morning. I know - It's not even Thanksgiving yet, but we are embracing the Holiday spirit this year and are actually going to get our Christmas tree TOday! Can't wait to surprise Iley after school!
Recipe after the jump...
- Sweet Dough
- 100 g active sourdough starter ½ cup
- 250 g full fat coconut milk 1 cup
- 24 g raw honey 2 tablespoons
- 14 g extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon
- 13 g vanilla extract 1 tablespoon
- 6 grams kosher salt 1 teaspoon
- 300 grams all purpose flour 2-½ cups
- 100 g whole cane or coconut palm sugar ⅔ cup
- 16 g chai spice mix 2 tablespoons - see recipe below
- 58 g melted vegan butter ¼ cup
- Confectioner's sugar for dusting
- Measure out sweet dough ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir or use your hand to combine into a rough dough. Then use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook to knead dough on low speed for 8-10 minutes, until dough is soft and smooth and comes away from the bowl into a ball. If dough is too sticky sprinkle a little more flour in until the right consistency is reached. If you don't have a stand mixer with a dough hook assembly, just knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes.
- Bulk ferment the dough (first rise) in an oiled bowl until doubled in size and is soft and pillowy, about 8-10 hours. It may take longer if you're in a cold environment. I do this overnight to bake in the morning.
- Get the filling ready once dough has finished the bulk ferment stage.
- Combine sugar and spices together in a small bowl and have melted butter in a separate bowl with a pastry brush ready.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Coax risen dough out of bowl and onto an oiled surface. Divide into quarters. Roll out ¼ at a time into a round about ¼" thick.
- Transfer dough to parchment lined sheet pan. Brush dough with melted butter. Sprinkle ⅓ of sugar/spice mix onto dough.
- Repeat with the remaining dough and stack layers, ending with a top layer of dough.
- Place an upturned small glass in the center of the top layer of dough. Use a small sharp knife to cut through the layers from the rim of the glass to the outer edge of dough in sixteenths. Start with quarters, then eights then sixteenths.
- Press the glass into the dough to make an indentation, then remove the glass. Now take two of the cut pieces and make two full twists away from each other, as if they were mirrored. This will create the first star point. Now repeat with the rest of the cut pieces to create an eight point star. Pinch together the ends of each point.
- Brush the top dough with melted butter and cover with a tea towel. Set it in a warm spot to proof for about another hour or until it puffs up.
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Bake at 400˚F for 20 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350˚F and bake for another 10 minutes until dark golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
- Remove the wreath from the sheet pan and cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Before serving brush the top with more melted butter for a glossy sheen and give it a light dusting of confectioner's sugar. Enjoy!