- 136 g whole milk (scalded and cooled to room temperature)
- 85 g eggs (2 small at room temperature)
- 1 tsp dark rum (high quality)
- 25 g granulated sugar
- 175 g sourdough starter (mature & fresh; 100% hydration)
- ¼ tsp cardamom (freshly ground)
- 350 g T00 flour (Mulino Marino)
- 7 g salt (Himalayan)
- 81 g butter (unsalted; room temperature)
- 55 g butter (unslated; room temperature)
- 80 g light brown sugar
- 1½ tbsp cinnamon (Ceylon)
- ⅛ tsp salt (Himalayan)
- 1 egg
- ¼ tsp date syrup (optional)
Gather all the ingredients.
PREPARE THE DOUGH
Mix well all the ingredients in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, except for the flour and butter.
Add flour and mix on low speed until there are no dry bits of flour in the dough – Note 1.
Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Mix on low to medium speed for 10 minutes or until the sides and the bottom of the bowl are clean and the dough is clinging onto the hook.
Start adding the butter incrementally, about 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix for another 5 minutes or until the bowl is clean and the dough is shiny, smooth, and passing the window-pane test – Note 2 (DDT 25°C/77°F)
Transfer the dough to a clean lightly buttered bowl. Fold the dough couple of times using the coil method to form a ball.
Rest for one hour after which another coil fold should be done. The desired dough temperature should be 25.5°C (78°F).
Rest for another hour after which do one more coil fold. The desired dough temperature should be 25.5°C (78°F).
Leave the dough to ferment for another hour and a half, after which place the dough in the fridge for cold fermentation overnight.
PREPARE THE FILLING
Melt the butter on low heat in a small saucepan. Set aside.
Add all the filling ingredients, except the butter, to a small food processor and process until all the sugar chunks are broken down and the mixture is uniform and almost powder-like. Set aside.
SHAPE THE BREAD – next day
Dust the clean working surface with some flour. Take the dough from the fridge, scrape it from the bowl, and place it top-down on the working surface.
Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 4 pieces.
Fold the pointy edges of the dough inwards and gently make a round ball. Don’t overwork the dough.
Roll each dough piece into a round circle with about 5mm (⅕ in) thickness – Note 3.
Take one piece of the rolled out dough and place it on the prepared baking sheet lined with the parchment paper.
Remove the excess flour from the dough and the work surface using a brush.
Brush with ⅓ of the melted and cooled butter and sprinkle ⅓ of the filling – Note 4.
Place the second rolled-out dough on top aligning the edges. Brush with ⅓ of the melted and cooled butter and sprinkle ⅓ of the filling.
Repeat the process with the third rolled dough.
Place the final fourth rolled out dough on top. Align the edges – Note 5.
Measure where the middle of the circle of the dough is and place a small cap in the middle.
Using a very sharp knife cut the dough to obtain 16 elongated pieces. Each cut should start from the edge of the small cup in the middle.
Step 1: Cut the dough into quarters.
Step 2: Cut each quarter in half.
Step 3: Cut each half in half.
Take two cut pieces by their edge and twist 3 times outward from each piece.
Pinch them together along the cut edge.
Push the pinched part down and tug underneath the dough. This forms one edge of a snowflake.
Repeat for the other 7 pairs.
Adjust each of the edges of the snowflake so that the twisted parts are aligned.
Cover and place in the turned-off oven with the light on. Prove for 2 hours.
Take the dough from the oven and place it on the kitchen counter. Preheat the oven to 220ºC (430ºF).
BAKING & SERVING
Make the egg wasg by whisking the egg and the date syrup, if using – Note 6.
Brush the snowflake with the egg wash.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until it starts to lightly take on the color – Note 7. Place on the cooling rack to cool to room temperature before serving.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.
The snowflake is best on the day it is baked – Note 8.
- After the initial mix of the ingredients the dough should be on a softer side and a bit sticky. Due to the differences in flour (and its absorption abilities) and also the weight of the eggs, the dough consistency can deviate a bit and be a bit too dry. If this happens add some more milk. I suggest you start adding 5 grams of milk and only after this additional milk is mixed into the dough you should add more if needed. Note that once the dough has relaxed and the butter is added in the second stage the dough will be softer. So please take care not to add too much additional liquid.
- As you add the butter the dough will noticeably soften and start spreading a bit. However, as you continue to mix, the dough will form back into a coherent mass, but still a bit soft and slightly sticky.
- If it is too warm in your kitchen wrap two dough pieces and place them in the fridge while you are rolling the first two. The colder the dough is after applying the filling the easier it will be to fold the dough into a snowflake.
- Make sure the filling is uniformly sprinkled as any gaps will be visible in the final product.
- If the dough does not resemble a circle but rather an ellipse the final snowflake shape will be distorted. Try tugging on the dough gently, but note that tugging can only fix a very minor problem in shape. If you want a perfect circle you can use the aluminum cake form, adjust the size desired, and simply cut the dough. The leftover dough can be placed in small ramekins, proofed, and baked separately. It tastes amazing as well. On the other hand, you can also leave the dough as is, if the distorted shape doesn’t bother you in the final product.
- The date syrup will give that golden color without the need to overbake and dry out the dough.
- Make sure not to overbake as it will dry out the dough.
- Keep it in an airtight container for several days. You can preheat it in the microwave or in a bamboo steamer for the best results. The oven tends to dry it out.