Bread Baking Babes- The Yule Wreath is here!

Christmas Wreath with Walnut and Dried Fruit Filling

Today it’s Bread Baking Babes day, last month I was bad and didn’t manage to bake but this month I did, late, i.e. yesterday, but I did it. To the joy of Marco who proclaimed that this was the best I have done in months. So Lynn (who is our hosting kitchen this month) your excellent choice was a great success in this house and your name will be remembered forever by my husband. And I have changed my plans as to what I would be baking this Christmas for our family reunion – no doubt, I will make this again! I followed the base recipe but as we were allowed to fill our wreath with whatever we wanted, I obviously improvised my own filling. The problem is that I improvised so much that I can’t really give you all the exact measures but then I don’t think they are strictly necessary. This type of wreath is something you often find in Sweden, the original name for this recipe is actually Swedish Coffee Ring so I was already familiar with the technique.

Christmas Wreath with Walnut and Dried Fruit Filling

The wreath is easy to make, the recipe is a very good one and the dough is really a joy to work with, easy and obedient and that last quality is something I appreciate right now with all these teenagers around, at last something that does what I want. And I know that several of my fellow babes have been far more creative than I (me?) and even made beautiful savory fillings as well so I warmly recommend to go and check out their blogs, see the end of this post for the list. And if you choose to be a Bread Baking Buddy and to bake this wreath, and I hope you do for your sake (not intended as a threat, just a great suggestion), check out the details over at Lynn’s blog Cookie Baker Lynn! And there you will find the complete recipe with the original filling and the glaze that I choose not to use.

Christmas Wreath with Walnut and Dried Fruit Filling

from Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook

1 package active dry yeast. I used 25 g fresh yeast
60 ml/ 1/4 cup warm water (40-46°C/105 to 115°F)
180 ml/3/4 cup lukewarm milk*
60 ml/1/4 cup sugar
60 ml/1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
770-820 ml/3-1/4 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

– Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, margarine, egg, cardamom, salt and 470 ml/2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
– Turn dough onto lightly floured surface: knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
– Punch down the dough. Roll into rectangle, 23×38 cm/15 x 9-inches(but I made a larger rectangle), on a lightly floured surface. Spread with the filling to within 0,5 cm/1/4-inch of the edges. Roll up tightly, beginning at the wide side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal well. Stretch roll to make even. With sealed edge down, shape into ring on lightly greased cookie sheet. Pinch ends together.
– With scissors or kitchen shears, make cuts 2/3 of the way through the ring at 2,5 cm /1-inch intervals. Turn each section on it’s side (90 degree turn), to show off the pretty swirled filling. Cover loosely with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise until double, about 40 to 50 minutes.
– Heat oven to (175°C/350°F). Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. (If it browns too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.)

my own

walnuts, quite a lot of them
5 dried apricots
5 dried figs
candied orange peel, about a 1/4 of the total peel of an orange
1 abundant tblsp of my home-made dark golden syrup

– Chop dried fruit and walnuts finely or, much easier, run them in a blender.
– Add the syrup and mix well before spreading it out as indicated by the recipe.

Christmas Wreath with Walnut and Dried Fruit Filling

If you want to see the creations of this month’s active Bread Baking Babes, here’s the list of the active BBBs: The Sour Dough (Mary), Notitie Van Lien (Lien), My Kitchen In Half-Cups (Tanna), Bake My Day (Karen), Cookie Baker Lynn (Lynn), I like To Cook (Sara) , Grain Doe (Görel), Living On Bread and Water (Monique)

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