Liam Charles’s Pizza Star Bread

Liam Charles
Liam Charles

Junior Bake Off

Liam’s star bread is the perfect marriage of everyone’s favourite takeaway and a tear-and-share loaf. Serve it alongside a zesty pesto aioli and a tangy garlic-and-herb dip – because every crust needs to be dipped.

Serves: 8
Difficulty: Needs skill
Hands-On Time: 30 mins
Baking Time: 35 mins
  • Ingredients
  • Method
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Step 1
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6.

Step 2
Make the pesto. Place all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a smooth paste. Set aside.

Step 3
Make the dough. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yoghurt. Mix with a fork, then use your hands to bring the mixture together to form a dough. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it lightly until just smooth. Divide into 3 equal balls.

Step 4
Roll out each ball into a large circle about 29–30cm in diameter. Using the dinner plate as a guide, cut out 3 circles each of 28cm diameter. Carefully place 1 circle of dough onto the lined baking sheet.

Step 5
Spoon the passata over the dough and spread it out using the back of the spoon, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella over the tomato sauce, then cover with second circle of dough.

Step 6
Spoon 4 tablespoons of the pesto over that circle of dough and spread it out using the back of the spoon, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella over the pesto, then cover with the last circle of dough.

Step 7
Place the 6cm cutter or glass in the middle of the dough but do not press down. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 12 evenly spaced wedges going from the edge of the cutter or glass to the outside edge of the dough. (If you think of the dough as a clock face, make cuts at every hour.)

Step 8
Remove the cutter or glass. Pick up one wedge in your right hand and the wedge next to it in your left hand. Twist the right-hand wedge clockwise 3 times and the left-hand edge anti-clockwise 3 times, then bring the ends of the two twisted wedges together and pinch to seal into a point.

Step 9
Repeat all the way round the ‘clock face’ so that you end up with a six-pointed star.

Step 10
Bake the bread for 30–35 minutes, until golden and crispy. (Check after 20 minutes and cover the bread with foil if it’s browning too quickly.)

Step 11
Meanwhile, make the pesto aioli. Place the remaining pesto in a bowl with the mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic and salt and mix together. Transfer to serving bowl.

Step 12
Make the garlic-and-herb dip. Spoon the mayonnaise into a bowl, add the soured cream, vinegar, garlic paste, oregano, parsley and salt and mix together.

Step 13
Once baked, serve the pizza star bread with the pesto aioli and the dip.