Star Anise Kuchen

Hey Fellow Foodies:

This is a recipe I made for our local Oktoberfest as a baking demo.  This bread/cake (Kuchen in German) is very pretty.  When you let it rise, you will have a thick paper ribbon (I used brown paper bags)  around the bread in an “X” pattern.  After baking, you will take off the original paper and replace with a new pretty ribbon.  This makes a fantastic gift for the holidays.  You can freeze this after baking as well which helps if your holidays are as crazy as ours.  Then wrap in a pretty ribbon and give as gifts or hostess gifts.

Star Anise Kuchen

1 package dry yeast (2 ½ teaspoons)

1 ½ cup warm water (105-115F)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter – room temperature

½ cup sugar

grated peel of 1 lemon

grated peel of 1 orange

1 tsp salt

½ tsp mace

½ tsp nutmeg

3 T  Star anise, crushed or ground

3 eggs, room temperature

½ cup instant non-fat dry milk

7 cups AP flour, approximately

1 T oil to brush on bread

2 half sheet pans with Silpat or oiled parchment

4 long heavy brown paper strips approx 1 ½ “ thick, stapler (I use brown paper bags)

1.                  bloom yeast

2.                  cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Mix in lemon and orange peel and all spices.

3.                  One add a time add eggs.

4.                  Stir in yeast mixture and add dry milk.  It may look runny, that’s ok.

5.                  Add flour 1 cup at a time until dough is soft and not sticky and not absorbing more flour

6.                  rest the dough 10 minutes before kneading

7.                  Knead the dough for approximately 8 minutes until smooth and elastic

8.                  Place dough back into clean bowl that has been oiled.  Place in warm place until doubled in bulk.

9.                  Punch down dough and knead to release air bubbles.

10.              Shape dough into two round loaves

11.              place paper strips into “X”pattern.  Place loaves on top of paper (oil the top and sides of the bread) and staple the paper ribbons over the dough.  Leaving room for the dough to expand.

12.              cover with foil or wax paper using glasses so the cover doesn’t touch the dough.   Let dough double in size.

13.              Preheat oven to 350F.  Bake approximately 45 minutes.  Move breads halfway through the baking process to help bake evenly.

14.              When the loaves are golden brown and tapping the bottom crust yields a hard  hollow sound, they are done.

15.              Remove from the oven.  When the loaves have cooled, remove the paper strips and replace with ribbon.

We love to serve this toasted with butter and Danish Ginger Fruit Spread.

Anyone else have good dessert breads to share?

Chef Constance

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