Few things are more magical than the mix between bread and Christmas. It’s magical to make bread and it gets even more impressive if it’s in the shape of a Christmas bread wreath with spices, walnuts and raisins. I made this recipe because it’s one of the recipes that you guys asked from me on Instagram when I asked what you wanted to learn for Christmas. So mission accomplished ;).
The recipe for the bread dough in this wreath is the same I showed you on the Cinnamon and Walnut Swirl Bread so head over there if you want to see a video on how to make the dough.
This wreath has chopped walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg but feel free to change them for whatever you prefer.
I have to say I really love this for Christmas. It feels so festive and with the bow on top I really feel it should be hanging from my door.
This lasted literally 2 days in my house because it was so good. On one day I ate 3 pieces which I warmed up and had with a lovely capuccino (don’t judge me).
I will say that in order to remove the wreath from the baking paper you need to wait for it to cool down completely because it’s still quite delicate when it comes out. This is because of the braiding; it tends to bend.
Christmas Bread Wreath with Walnuts and Raisins
For the bread dough
- 500 g all purpose flour
- 20 g sugar
- 10 g salt
- 14 g instant yeast
- 30 g unsalted melted butter, cooled down to room temperature
- 300 ml lukewarm water
For the filling
- 40 g unsalted melted butter, cooled down to room temperature
- 100 g brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 50 g chopped walnuts
- 50 g raisins, previously hydrated for 10min in boiling water and cooled to room temperature
For the glaze
- 4 tbsp icing sugar
- as needed water to dilute
For the dough
Mix everything in a bowl and knead. You can use a stand mixer with a hook attachment, hand mixer with a swirl attachment or by hand.
Stop kneading when you can perform a window test successfully: grab a ball of dough and start stretching it slowly until you can see through the center. If it breaks then it needs more kneading.
Let proof covered with a cloth until it doubles in size. If your kitchen is cold, put it inside a turned off warm oven. Mine took 20min.
Roll out into a long rectangle on a floured surface. Also flour the top of the dough so the rolling pin doesn't stick.
To assemble the wreath
Make sure the dough isn't stuck to the table. Brush the melted butter on the rectangle you made.
Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and spread evenly on the dough. On one of the long sides leave 3cm without filling for afterwards when we close the roll.
Also spread the chopped walnuts and raisins.
Start rolling from the long side that doesn't have a gap without filling. Do it really tightly to minimize aire within the layers.
When you get to the end, stretch gently the last part and use it to close the roll.
Open the roll down the center lengthwise using a really sharp knife, not serrated. Be gentle when you do this and use nice, long strokes instead of going down at once.
Roll each side onto its back so the layers are looking up and start braiding them, always keeping the inside looking up. It's easier if your table is dusted with flour. Once done braiding, gently squeeze the braid towards the centre so it's tighter. For further reference watch the video above.
Prepare your baking tray with baking paper.
If you have an edgeless baking tray transfer the braid first onto it and then close the wreath. If your tray has edges like mine, form the wreath and then transfer it. It's best if you get someone's help to do so.
Let proof for 30min or until it doubles in size. If your room is too cold you might need up to an hour.
Bake at 180C for 20-30min or until nicely golden.
Let cool down completely before removing from tray and do it carefully so it doesn't break.
I made a thick glaze to do a few stripes, but add water depending of the effect you want.