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Star Shaped Brioche Filled with Pesto and Shredded Cheese

This Star Shaped Brioche is a fun spin on the classic. It's soft and buttery, its twisted layers laced with pesto and a blend of shredded Provolone, Asiago and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. In order to develop the flavor in the dough, it does have to do a slow rise in the refrigerator over night, so if you plan to make it, you will have to factor in the time, but it is definitely worth it! This recipe makes one 9" star.
Course Bread


  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tspn rapid rise yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 tspn salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, warm
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract or paste
  • 4 tbspn unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces pesto
  • 8 ounces shredded Italian cheese (i.e. Asiago, Parmigiano- Reggiano, Provolone)


  • Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, and then add the sugar, salt, milk, eggs, and vanilla paste (or extract) and mix on low speed for 5 minutes.
  • Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, making sure each tablespoon is fully incorporated before adding the next. Continue until all the butter has been added to the dough.
  • Mix for a total of 30 minutes on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as necessary.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it out into a rectangular shape.
  • Fold the left side over to the right, the right over to the left, then the top to the bottom and the bottom to the top so you have an envelope with the seam at the top. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Place the dough seam-side down in the prepared bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. This prevents the dough from developing a skin as it rises. Cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 1 hour. 
  • Repeat the folding process, place it back in the bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  • After the dough has set in the refrigerator overnight, lightly flour your work surface and divide the dough into four equal sized chunks and roll them into balls. Then, roll each ball into a circle about 10"-12" in diameter.
  • Transfer the dough to a sheet of parchment paper, and spread it with the pesto and then sprinkle with cheese. Set aside and repeat with two other balls of dough, stacking the sheets as you go. Do not spread the filling on the final sheet, just lay it on top of the stack.
  • Lay a dish on top of the stacked rounds and use it as a template, and then, using a sharp knife, trim the dough so they are all the same size.
  • Press a 2-inch round biscuit cutter into the center of the stacked rounds, using only enough pressure to leave a small indentation in the top layer of dough. Do not cut all the way through. Then, using a sharp knife, starting at the biscuit cutter, cut through all layers of dough to form wedges. First, divide the dough into quarters, then cut the quarters into eights, and then cut the eights into sixteenths. The result will be sixteen evenly shaped wedges.
  • Then, lift two adjacent wedges, stretch gently and twist them in opposite directions twice. Pinch the ends together and tuck the seam underneath. If the dough does not stick together, you can brush a small amount of water on the ends and then squeeze. This usually does the trick. If not, I secure with toothpicks before I put it in the oven.
  • Once you have twisted and secured all the wedges, allow it to rest for about an hour, then, brush the dough lightly with an egg wash and bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden.