Raise your hands if you’re now a master baker thanks to lockdown! Impress loved ones with your badass baking skills this Christmas with a Christmas Wreath Bread. It’s edible, beautiful and a MAGICAL thing to eat on Christmas morning.
This delicious recipe is taken straight from the pages of Yvette van Boven’s festive filled cookbook, Home Made Christmas, out now!
Christmas Wreath Bread
Serves about 8
FOR THE DOUGH
- 1 cup (250 ml) milk
- 3½ tablespoons (50 g) butter, cubed
- 2¼ teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
- 3½ cups (450 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (50 g) lightly packed light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
FOR THE FILLING
- 1⅓ cups (200 g) currants
- ⅓ cup (50 g) chopped succade (preserved or crystallized fruit)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice (speculaaskruiden)
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 7 tablespoons (100 g) butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Confectioners’ sugar for serving (optional)
First make the dough. In a saucepan, heat the milk until just below boiling, then add the butter and remove from the heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes—until just below body temperature—then add the yeast to the now lukewarm milk. Let stand for another 10 minutes.
Combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl and form an indentation in the center. Pour in the milk mixture. Using a wooden spoon, combine until the dough holds together. Continue kneading with your hands on a lightly floured countertop for another 10 minutes.
Shape into a ball, place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm spot for 90 minutes, or until it has doubled in volume.
For the filling, heat the currants, succade, cinnamon, mixed spice, and the lemon and orange zest and juice in a saucepan. Cook over very low heat, until the currants are nicely plumped up. Let cool. Mix in the butter and brown sugar and set aside.
Knead the dough briefly once more. On a lightly floured countertop, roll it out into a rectangle about 18 by 12 inches (45 by 30 cm). Spread the filling over it using a pancake spatula. Allow a margin of about ¾ inch (2 cm) at the long sides.
Roll up the dough from a long side, moisten the bare edge with water, and press to seal the seam. Place the roll with the seam facing down. Moisten the ends of the roll as well and bend them together, forming a circle. Place the wreath on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
With a sharp knife, cut into the roll every 1¼ inches (3 cm), almost all the way through, but not quite. Pull out each cut piece, exposing the sides, and the spirals will form a circular fan of swirls. Cover with a clean dish towel and allow the wreath to rise again for about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Brush the bread with the lightly beaten egg. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. Optionally, dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Get your copy of Home Made Christmas here.