Orange star bread is a tasty pull-apart bread recipe that is just as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the stomach. Made with orange extract that is full of fresh citrus flavor, it’s easy to make and a deliciously unique option for dessert or brunch!
Gathering around the table is (not surprisingly) one of our favorite things to do. And what better way to make it an unforgettable meal than to serve up some homemade goodies? We’re often tasked with bringing something sweet to a party or gathering, giving us plenty of opportunities to whip up something really special. That’s where this orange star bread recipe comes in! You’ve likely already tasted the original version of this pull-apart bread that is made with cinnamon and sugar. We turned this classic recipe on its head and are so pleased with the results. Made with fruity orange extract, it’s the ultimate addition to any dessert or brunch spread!
The choice is yours when it comes to what type of dough to use for your orange bread. We typically use our homemade cinnamon roll dough, which is indicated on the recipe card below. You may also use:
- Store-bought dough (you’ll need about 2 pounds)
- Crescent sheets (2 to 4 packages)
- Puff pastry dough (2 pounds)
- Pie crust circle dough (4 crust rounds)
Troubleshooting: Dry Star Bread
There are a few different reasons that you may end up with hard or dry bread. First, be careful not to over-knead the dough. The flour you use could also be the culprit — make sure to use traditional all-purpose for the best results. Finally, don’t over bake your bread! If you leave it in the oven for too long, it will come out hard, dry, and crumbly.
Now that your star bread is warm and delicious and ready to eat, what are you going to top it with? In this recipe, we use a simple glaze, but here are a few other topping ideas:
- Powdered sugar: Sprinkle powdered sugar over the star bread for a sweet and elegant touch.
- Honey: Drizzle honey over the star bread for a sweet and sticky finish.
- Melted Butter: Simply brush 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the top of the finished star bread.
- Brown sugar and cinnamon crumble: In a medium bowl, stir together the 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon until well combined. Add in 1/4 cup of melted butter and stir until the mixture forms a crumbly dough. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the star bread just before baking.
If you want to make a double batch of orange star bread, you may want to freeze some of it for later use. You can freeze it after baking, or you can freeze the dough:
- Freeze already-baked orange bread: Allow the bread to cool completely before placing it in an airtight freezer-safe bag or container. It will keep in your freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight first. Then, reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees F for 5-10 minutes, or until warm.
- Freeze the dough: If you’re making your own dough, follow the dough recipe instructions on the recipe card. After the dough has risen, use your hands to remove any excess air. Place the dough in a freezer-safe bag or container, then wrap it in a layer of aluminum foil. It will keep for up to 3 months in your freezer. Allow it to thaw completely in the fridge before following the shaping and baking instructions on the recipe card.
Storage and Reheating Instructions:
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Store leftover orange bread in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap on your countertop or in your pantry. It will keep for about 4 days at room temperature. You can also store it in the fridge to make it last a bit longer — up to one week. If you want to reheat it before eating, you can do so in the microwave at 30-second increments until warmed through.
Other Flavor Options
Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.
Orange Star Bread
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons salted butter softened
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup salted butter softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons water or milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoons orange zest (optional)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm milk, orange extract yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and eggs. Add in flour. Use a dough hook and turn on to low speed.
- Once the flour starts to incorporate into the dough, increase the speed to a medium range. Add more flour as necessary so that the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- The dough mixture should be soft and tacky, but not stick to your hands. Add more or less flour until the dough reaches the desired consistency. The amount of flour you add in bread making is always an approximation and you should go by feel.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, and orange zest. Set to the side.
Shaping and Baking Instructions:
- Take dough and divide it into 4 even pieces. Roll each piece into a large circle, roughly the width of your baking sheet.
- Lay one circle down onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread 1/3 of the orange mixture across the dough leaving 1/4 inch around the edge of the circle.
- Continue layering with the remaining pieces, spreading 1/3 of the orange filling on each layer, but leave the 4th and final piece plain on top.
- Use a small 2-inch bowl to mark the center (or eyeball it) and then use a knife to cut 16 equal strands, leaving the small circle in the center.
- Take 2 of the strands and twist in opposite directions, 1-2 times, and then pinch the edges shut to seal. Continue twisting pieces together until all pieces are twisted and you have a large star shape.
- Bake immediately (no rising) in a 350 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes. Once cooled, serve plain, topped with a simple glaze,or dust with powdered sugar.
- In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon of water or milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add more water or milk as needed to create a thin consistency that can easily be drizzled over the dough. Drizzle over fully baked and cooled star bread and sprinkle with orange zest.