Byopia Press 2017 Advent Calendar: Day Twenty-three and another star bread

I plan to keep trying until I get it right. This one is really close.

The last time David was baking bread, I begged one loaf’s worth of dough from the batch. The dough contained both oats and barley flour so it was a little coarse for my purposes, but I thought I would try out a different star bread with it anyway.

The idea for the bread came from a combination of sources: a post by Lydia Stoeva on Postila.ru,

and a post by Alla Golovchina on Pinterest.

Neither of the posts link to written instructions, so I was just working from the pictures.

I rolled the bread dough into a circle,  then cut strips from it in a spiral.

Yes, that’s a ruler. Doesn’t everyone use a kitchen ruler for this kind of thing?

I took a sheet of baker’s parchment and drew a copy of the pentagon found here. I placed the parchment, ink side down, on a baking pan and used it as a template for creating a star.

The pink pointy finger indicates where I have ended a strip underneath one of the star’s points. By the time I got fairly close to the centre, I had a collection of short strips, which I patted into a round and placed in the centre of the bread. This was then covered by the final few rounds of wrapping. You can just see a tiny bit of it through the gap in the centre of the strips in the picture below.

I brushed the loaf with milk, sprinkled it with sesame seeds, and baked it for about 50 minutes at 175C (350F, Gas Mark 4).

Close! A lighter bread dough would work better. If you don’t usually make bread, I suspect this could be done with a loaf of frozen bread dough from the grocery store.

If you never make bread and/or are restricting carbohydrates for any of a number of possible reasons, you could make a little wire star instead.

I got a package of decorative wire at the dollar store: red, gold, and silver. I used a chunk of styrofoam insulation, one of the smallest stars from the printable page found here, and some T-pins.

I made a base layer by winding the wire around the pins as if I was drawing a five point star.

The pins were removed, and I wound the rest of the star free-hand, the same way I wrapped the bread.

After the wrapping was finished, I cut the wire and tucked the tips of the beginning and end into the hollow centre of the star. I then turned back the loops at the tips of the arms and legs of the star to stabilize everything, leaving the double loop at the top as a hanger.

This is the best one I have made so far.

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About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
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