Stuffed with savory sausage and apricot jam, this beautiful Pull Apart Bread Star is a stunning shareable centerpiece perfect for any celebration.
[Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Torakand Adventures LLC and is part of a series of recipes developed for the fictional fantasy setting of Lost Colonies, an immersive live-action roleplaying community in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. This post also contains affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links.]
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Apricot & Sausage Stuffed Pull Apart Bread
Few things combine artful presentation with delicious comfort food as perfectly as a well-made pull apart bread. Four layers of yeasted dough surround fillings of apricot jam, spicy sausage, and mild cheese for a delicious and satisfying sweet and savory combination.
The twisted star shape is a beautiful touch, and far easier to achieve than it may look. Present this Apricot and Sausage Stuffed Pull Apart Bread as the centerpiece to your next gathering and be sure to impress your friends and family.
This recipe is part of an ongoing series inspired by the fictional cultures and traditions of Lost Colonies, a live action role playing experience based in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. (You can learn more about this collaboration in the first post of the series.)
Breaking Bread with the Independent Nation
“Where goes the Nation, there follows peace.”
As the negotiations began in the large round yurt, the appointed Elder called the two parties to meet at a low circular table designed for this purpose. On mats and cushions, the representatives sat across from one another, a mediator between them. Drinks were poured, and a boy of about eleven or twelve, dressed in the traditional greys, carefully placed a platter in the center of the table. Stuffed with local ingredients beloved by both communities, this delicately designed bread formed the shape of a twisted star, representing the idea that no matter what differences might arise, all parts can come together and create harmony as one. Each guest at the table took a piece, literally breaking bread together before a word of debate was spoken. – Excerpt from A Traveler’s Guide to Sobukand by Donla Pheinkuk
According to ancient upheld treaties, the Independent Nation is a politically neutral group, acting as excellent mediators and trustworthy messengers throughout the Empire of Sobukand. A diverse nomadic organization with its own laws and governance, the wandering members of the Nation take up camps and impermanent settlements near major cities and crossroads. So respected are the Nation that this land is donated to that purpose by local cities and towns, as it is always beneficial to have valued guides and negotiators nearby.
Making a Bread Star
Making the twisted star shape of this sausage stuffed pull apart bread is much simpler than it looks. Despite my concerns that it would take a few tries to achieve, the instructions below are easy to follow. If you need additional help, check out the step-by-step process in these brilliantly written instructions.
Apricot & Sausage Stuffed Pull Apart Bread
- Rolling pin
- 9-inch cake or pie pan
- 2 ½ inch round cookie cutter or lid
- 2/3 cup warm milk, heated to 105 degrees F
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 (.25 ounce) packet active dry yeast
- 3 ¼ cup all purpose flour, plus some for rolling
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon water, if necessary
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Apricot & Sausage Filling
- ½ cup sausage, cooked, cooled, and crumbled into small pieces
- ½ cup apricot jam
- ¼ cup mild cheddar, shredded
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk or water
Make the Bread Dough:
- Combine the heated milk, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand until foamy and the yeast is activated, about 10 minutes.
- Using the paddle attachment, beat in 1 cup flour. Add the melted butter and another ½ cup flour, the eggs one at a time, and the salt, beating between each addition.
- Switch to the dough hook attachment and add the remaining 1 ¼ cup flour, mixing until the dough is fully combined and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add a tablespoon water if the dough seems too dry.
- Grease a large bowl with olive oil and transfer the dough to the bowl to rise. Cover with a towel and leave in a warm place. It should double in size in about an hour.
Fill & Form the Bread Dough:
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide the risen dough into four equal balls. One at a time, roll out each ball on a well-floured surface into a 10-inch circle about 1/8th to 1/4th inch thick. Take a 9-inch cake round or pie pan and press into the circle, leaving an indentation behind. This will mark the edge of your finished dough circle. Repeat with each ball of dough.
- On your first layer, gently spread softened butter over the circle, ending before the 9-inch indentation. Follow with half of the apricot jam. Place the next layer on top, lining up the circular demarcations. Sprinkle this layer evenly with the sausage and the shredded cheese, making sure none of the sausage pieces are too big or bulky. Place the third layer of dough on top of this one again in the same way, and gently spread on the remaining butter and apricot jam.
- Drape the final layer of rolled bread dough over the other three, again making sure that the circular indentations are aligned. Take the same 9-inch cake tin and press down over all the layers, confirming the outermost edges of your stuffed bread. Cut through all four layers of dough along this indentation with a sharp knife, removing any excess dough.
- Using a 2 ½ inch cookie cutter or lid, make a circular indentation in the center of the layered dough. Starting at that line and working out to the edge, slice through all of the layers with a paring knife, dividing the dough into 16 segments joined together by the demarcated center circle.
- Working in pairs, twist two segments away from each other twice, pinching the center seams to seal the dough. Repeat until the 16 segments are twisted into 8 pairs.
Bake the Stuffed Bread:
- Transfer the twisted bread star to the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Whisk together the remaining egg and tablespoon of milk or water into an egg wash, and brush the entire surface of the dough. Bake uncovered in the oven for 20 minutes and check that the bread is browning evenly. If it starts to look too dark but the dough doesn’t seem fully cooked throughout, cover with foil and bake up to an additional 10 minutes.
- Serve whole to be pulled apart my guests or pre-sliced into segments – both look stunning as a center piece!
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