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Festive Starbread with Sprout Sage Pesto and Cranberry Sauce
Recipe No. 7

Festive Starbread with Sprout Sage Pesto and Cranberry Sauce

Bake a beautiful savory starbread this season and delight your guests. This pull apart bread is filled with festive flavors and is made for sharing. Serve it as part of a buffet or with aperitifs and appetizers.

The recipe can also be doubled up easily for bigger gatherings.

Prep Time
1 hours 40 minutes (40 minutes active)
Cooking time
20-30 minutes
Recipe image by Alicja Sieronski
Photo by Alicja Sieronski



  • 1 cup milk, luke warm
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg , beaten for egg wash


  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries 
  • 2-3 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • Half star anise
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • A pinch sea salt
  • ½ orange , zest and juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


  • 60 g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 fat garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 small handful sage leaves
  • ¼ cup Gruyere cheese, grated
  • ⅓ cup pecan nuts, roughly chopped ½ lemon, juiced
  • ⅓ cup mild olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste


  • Stand mixer with hook attachment
  • Mini chopper or small blender
  • Large baking sheet 
  • Parchment paper
Recipe image by Alicja Sieronski
Photo by Alicja Sieronski


To make the dough, sprinkle the yeast and sugar into lukewarm milk, set aside and let it activate for 10 minutes. You will see it start to foam on top.

Add flour, salt and activated yeast milk to the bowl of your stand mixer. Attach the dough hook and run it at speed 2 for 5 minutes. You can mix by hand too, if you don't have a stand mixer.

Now add the butter and run it again. It will look wet in the beginning, but then the dough will come together.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a large greased bowl. Cover the bowl tightly and place in a warm place for an hour or until it doubles in size. You can place it in the oven with just the lights switched on, no heat.

While the dough is rising, make your fillings.

For the cranberry sauce combine  all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. 

Reduce to a gentle simmer and stir regularly until the mixture thickens and the berries begin to break down, about 10 minutes.                                     

Leave to cool completely.

Now make the pesto, by placing all ingredients in a mini chopper or small blender and pulsing until combined. Set aside until you are ready to assemble.

When the dough is ready, cut it into 3 equal pieces

Lightly flour your work surface and roll out a third of the dough in a 12 inch circle

Put the dough on parchment paper and spread a thin layer of pesto on top of it, stopping about 1/2 inch from the edges.

Next, roll the second piece of dough to the same size circle and cover the first evenly on top. 

Spread cold cranberry sauce on top and cover with the third rolled out dough circle.

Press a 2 inch wide cup into the center of the dough until it leaves an indent. 

Cut through the dough from the indent to the outer edges. Cut 16 equal pieces.

Take two slices of dough, twist them away from each other three times and squeeze the ends together. Repeat around the entire circle. 

Let your dough sit in a warm place for 15 minutes for one last rise.

Brush the top with egg wash and put in a 190°C/375°F degree preheated oven for 20-30 minutes.

Let cool slightly before serving,


Recipe image by Alicja Sieronski
Photo by Alicja Sieronski
Finished recipe image by Alicja Sieronski
Photo by Alicja Sieronski

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