Christmas Wreath Bread
(a slightly adapted recipe from Yvette van Boven, A Homemade Christmas)
For the dough:
1 envelope active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the filling:
200g raisins ( soaked in rum)
50g chopped succade (crystallized fruit)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sweet spice mix
zest and juice of 1 lemon
100g butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
powdered sugar for serving
First make the dough. In a saucepan heat the milk until just below boiling, then add the butter and remove from heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then add the yeast to the now lukewarm milk.
Combine the flour, 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 lightly floured countertop for another 10 minutes.
Shape into a ball, dust with flour, place in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm spot for 90 minutes, or until it has doubled in volume.
For the filling mix the butter, brown sugar and the rest of the ingredients. Set aside.
Knead the dough briefly once more. On a lightly floured countertop roll it out into a rectangle. Spread the filling over it using a spatula. Allow a margin of about 2cm at the long sides.
Roll up the dough from a long side moisten the are 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 3cm, almost all the way through, but not quite.Pull out each cut piece, exposing the sides and the spirals will forma circular fan of swirls.
Cover with a clean dish towel and allow the wreath to rise again for about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush the bread with the lightly beaten egg. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.