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  • Recipe by
  • Prep time
    1 ½ hours, plus overnight chill
  • Cook Time
    45 minutes
  • Yield
    One large star bread

Equipment: Parchment Paper Sheets and Mini Dutch Oven

Ingredients

Dough

2 ½ cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour

⅞ cups (200 grams, 195 ml) whole milk

4 tablespoons (55 grams) butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar

2 teaspoons (5 grams) instant yeast

1 ½ teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt

2 teaspoons (6.5 grams, 10 ml) vanilla extract

Filling

½ pound (2 cups) chopped rhubarb stems

1 pound (3 cups) strawberries, hulled and halved

1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

Juice and zest of one lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice and 1 tablespoon zest)

1 whole egg + 3 egg yolks (110 grams total)

4 tablespoons (55 grams) butter, room temperature

Toppings

One egg, beaten, for egg wash

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preparation

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all ingredients for the dough and mix on medium-low speed (no higher than the second speed) for about 15 minutes, until a smooth, tacky, strong dough forms. If kneading by hand, be prepared for this to take 20 minutes or longer—take short breaks if needed!

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and allow to rise until doubled, about one hour.

When the dough is doubled in size, cover tightly and put in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

While the dough is rising, make the filling: combine chopped rhubarb, strawberries, and sugar in a Mini Dutch Oven and stir. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very juicy and the fruit is soft, 10-15 minutes.

Add the lemon juice and zest to the fruit mixture. Use an immersion blender, or transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender (make sure there is room for the steam to escape if using a blender) and puree until smooth.

At this point, you should have about 2 cups of puree. Simmer the puree, uncovered, over low heat for an additional 10 minutes, until it is very thick and reduced to about 1 ½ cups.

Once the fruit puree is thickened, turn the heat off and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Transfer about half a cup of puree to a small bowl, and slowly add the whole egg and egg yolks, whisking thoroughly to combine. This step tempers the eggs to prevent them from scrambling.

Slowly stream the tempered egg mixture into the fruit mixture, stirring constantly. Turn the heat back on to low, and cook until very thick, 3-5 minutes.

Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the butter until melted. Allow to cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container until completely cold, preferably overnight.

The following morning (or after chilling thoroughly), remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into four pieces and form each into a ball. Allow the balls to rest for 10 minutes covered with a tea towel.

Roll each piece of dough into a 9-inch circle. To make the circle as even as possible, rotate the dough on the surface 90 degrees after every few rolls.

Place one circle of dough onto a Parchment Paper Sheet. Spread a few tablespoons of the strawberry rhubarb curd onto the dough, leaving a ¼ inch border around the edge.

Place a second dough circle over this layer and repeat with curd. The last dough circle is the top layer--do not put filling over the last circle. You will have some extra filling--you can save this for toast, yogurt, or eating with a spoon.

Place a 3-inch round cutter, glass, or jar lid over the center of the dough. Use a sharp knife or bench scraper to cut the dough into 16 equal sections from the edge of the circle to the edge of the cutter.

Take two sections and twist away from each other, then join at the tips. Repeat around the circle for a total of 8 points.

Slide the shaped dough on the parchment onto a half sheet pan. Cover and allow to rise for one hour at room temperature, or until puffy and visibly risen. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Brush the beaten egg over the surface of the risen dough. Pinch together the edges of each point one more time to ensure they stick together. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the bread is deep golden brown. The internal temperature of the bread should read 200°F when finished. If the surface is browning too quickly, cover lightly with a piece of foil.

Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes on the pan. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: Making the curd in a pot that has thick walls, like the Mini Dutch Oven, is essential for controlling heat. If a little bit of the egg scrambles, you can strain the mixture after adding the butter to ensure it comes out smooth. If you do not have a Mini Dutch Oven or pot like this, cook the curd in a double boiler once adding the eggs. The dough may want to shrink back as you roll it into a circle. If this keeps happening, allow it to rest for 10 minutes and then continue to roll until the desired size is reached.

Cooking a delicious meal is not im-pot-ssible when you use the right cookware.

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Julia Estrada