Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Breakfast Wreath

Christmas Breakfast Wreath
This recipe is from but altered with flavorings by Maureen Abood.
Ingredients:For the bread
1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water (about 110° F)
½ cup warm milk (about 110° F)
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

For the cherry-almond filling:
¾ cup dried cherries, soaked ½ cup Chambord + ½ teaspoon rose water
6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
⅓ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup finely chopped blanched almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon rose water

For the rose water glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon rose water

In a large mixing bowl (for a stand mixer or by hand), dissolve the yeast in the water until it is creamy and foaming, about 10 minutes. Blend in the milk, sugar, butter, salt, cardamom, eggs and lemon peel with a spoon or the paddle attachment in the stand mixer. Mix in two cups of the flour, one cup at a time. Beat or work with your hands for 2 minutes. Add remaining flour ½ cup at a time until you have a soft dough that is only slightly sticky.

Knead the dough until smooth on a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding flour to keep the dough from sticking, 5 to 10 minutes. Even if you’re using the stand mixer to start, do this by hand to enjoy the full experience of this wonderful dough. Place in a large, lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 90 minutes.

Immediately after putting the dough to rise, soak the dried cherries in the liqueur and rose water for an hour (this step can be done up to a day in advance, soaking for 24 hours). Drain the dried fruit from the liqueur and reserve the liqueur for the next time you make this wreath (which will be again soon!) or to drink after dinner. In a small bowl, combine the drained fruit with remaining filling ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

When dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a large, lightly floured work surface. Taking control of the dough and using a measuring tape, roll the dough into a 9x30-inch rectangle. Smear and dot the filling over the dough to within 1 inch of the edges, evenly distributing the cherries.

Starting along a long side, tightly roll up the dough, pinching the edge against loaf to seal it. With a sharp knife, cut the roll in half lengthwise. Gently turn the halves so the cut sides are facing up, and then loosely twist the halves around each other, keeping the cut sides up.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or non-stick baking mat. Carefully transfer the rope to the baking sheet by picking up portions and moving it gently a bit at a time. Shape the rope into a wreath, pinching and tucking the ends together to seal. Let it rise again, lightly covered, in a warm place until puffy, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the wreath until it is light golden brown in spots, about 25 minutes.

Whisk together the glaze ingredients, making sure it is not too thin. Add more confectioners sugar or water as needed to make a thick but pourable consistency.

When wreath is done, cool for a few minutes, and then drizzle the glaze over the warm wreath in the same direction as the twisted surface. Cut into slices and serve warm.

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