Cinnamon and Raspberry Whirl Wreath
As beautiful as it is delicious, this ornate Christmas wreath bake features festive flavours of cinnamon matched with raspberry jam and a sweet enriched dough.
From the book
This delicious wreath is made from a sweet, enriched dough coated in fruity jam. It emerges from the oven with the aroma of freshly baked bread and yuletide spirit. Once cool, adorn your wreath with a festive ribbon and eat within 3 days.
|cardamom pods, crushed
|1 x 7g
|sachet fast-action dried yeast
|plain flour, plus extra for dusting
|For the filling:
|ground cinnamon mixed with 2 tsp caster sugar
Warm the milk in a pan with the sugar and cardamom. Once steaming, add the butter and let it melt, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 4–5 minutes. Pour through a sieve into a jug, cool until only just warm, then add the yeast and egg and mix well.
Sift the flour into a large bowl with the salt and make a well in the centre. Add the liquid and mix with your hands until it all comes together. If it is a little too dry add a splash more milk, and if it feels a little too wet you can add a little more flour, but err on the wetter side to avoid a dry dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5–10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Return to the clean bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough with your knuckles and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to a rectangle about 25 x 45cm, with the long side towards you. Spread the jam evenly over the dough and sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture, leaving a 2cm border on the long side closest to you.
Roll the dough up as tightly as you can, starting from the long side furthest from you. Slice the dough in half along its length to expose the layers. Starting at one end, cross the pieces over each other, keeping the exposed layers uppermost, working down the length of the dough, then transfer to a lined baking sheet and shape into a wreath by folding the four ends over each other to continue the plait.
Cover with a clean tea towel or lightly greased clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
Place the wreath in the heated oven and bake for 30–35 minutes until lightly golden, then remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.
TIP: If your kitchen is a little cold, heat your oven to 50°C/120°F/lowest gas setting, then turn it off. Place the bowl of dough in the warm, but switched off, oven to prove.
THINKING AHEAD: Freeze the proved, unbaked wreath on a baking sheet until solid, then wrap well in baking paper and foil or clingfilm and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost fully before baking.