Recipe by Alana Buckley
Yield: about 12-16 servings
7 oz milk (you might need 1.5 oz extra if dough is too dry, but start with 7 oz then add more as needed)
½ T butter
2¼ tsp instant yeast
1 tsp vanilla
3½ cups bread flour
½ cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 large egg yolks (keep the whites to brush at the end)
Recipe Note: In a time crunch, use Crescent Roll dough from the store and lightly roll out the dough to blend the dividing crescent lines, then skip to step “Filling” and follow the rest.
6 T salted butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp TCHO Natural Cocoa Powder
2 tsp cinnamon
- Heat milk and butter in microwave (or saucepan) together until warm to touch. Add the yeast and set aside for 10 minutes until the liquid looks frothy on top.
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in separate bowl.
- Pour the dry ingredients on counter creating a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture, egg yolks, and vanilla to the well. Mix everything by hand until dough forms.
- Knead the dough until the dough is soft and stretchy. You can also knead the dough in a mixer for about 10 minutes.
- If the dough looks too dry, add about 0.5 oz of milk (gradually add 0.5 oz at a time until consistency of dough looks soft and stretchy).
- Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and place dough ball into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for 2-3 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
- Deflate/lightly punch down the dough with your fingertips, and let rest for another 30 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Mix together soft butter, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon until well combined.
- When the dough is ready, divide into 4 equal balls (weigh them on a scale to be exact if possible). Lightly flour your surface and begin to roll each dough ball out into a 12-inch disc.
- Place a plate on top to cut away excess dough with a knife. Remove the plate and place the dough disc onto a prepared baking sheet.
- Spread 1/3 of the butter/sugar mix on top of the dough disc.
- Roll out a second ball of dough (same as in step 1) and place on top of the butter and sugar mixture.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough, layering with each butter/sugar filling. Do not put the butter and sugar mixture on top of the top layer.
Shape into Twists
- Place a small cup in the middle of the layered dough and very lightly mark a ring in the center to use as a guide.
- Cut the dough first with 4 lines (at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock, and 12 o’clock). Cut each quarter into 2 pieces, then cut each of those into 2 pieces so you end up with 16 strands connected to the middle circle.
- Take 2 strands that are side-by-side and twist them away from each other two times. Connect the two strands at the end, pinching the ends together.
Recipe Note: Make sure you really pinch them together to avoid separation (like what happened in our recipe photo). Do this with all of the strands to create a snowflake like design.
- Cover the bread loosely with a lightly damp cloth or towel and let rest one more time for 30 minutes.
- While the bread is resting for the final rise, preheat your oven to 350oF. Beat egg whites a bit with a fork and brush evenly over the surface of the snowflake shaped dough once it has finished its final rest.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden brown everywhere.
- Decorate with a light dusting of powdered sugar and a little extra cinnamon to add a kick of umph!