Christmas Bread Wreath with Walnuts and Raisins


Course Breakfast, Tea Time
Difficulty Medium
Prep Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 10 people

Ingredients

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

Instructions

For the dough

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  1. Make sure the dough isn't stuck to the table. Brush the melted butter on the rectangle you made.

  2. 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.

  3. Also spread the chopped walnuts and raisins.

  4. Start rolling from the long side that doesn't have a gap without filling. Do it really tightly to minimize aire within the layers.

  5. When you get to the end, stretch gently the last part and use it to close the roll.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Prepare your baking tray with baking paper.

  9. 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.

  10. Let proof for 30min or until it doubles in size. If your room is too cold you might need up to an hour.

  11. Bake at 180C for 20-30min or until nicely golden.

  12. Let cool down completely before removing from tray and do it carefully so it doesn't break.

Glaze

  1. I made a thick glaze to do a few stripes, but add water depending of the effect you want.