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Festive Wreath - December Fresh From The Oven Challenge

Thursday, 1 December 2011
For the December Fresh From The Oven Challenge I wanted something Christmassy but fairly simple to make.  Something suitable for those times when you are manically busy but need to make something tasty that looks fairly impressive - like when your child comes to you and says "By the way I need something special for the school Christmas Fair Cake Stall/Shared Lunch/Class Party/present for favourite teacher" (delete where applicable).

Anyway, on to the Challenge! The Challenge recipe is a Festive Wreath, kind of like a Christmas Kringel.  It tastes fab and you can adapt it to your tastes and what you have available in your house at the time.  I've given you my recipe but feel free to adapt it to your needs and the ingredients you have on hand.  Once you've made the wreath you can drizzle it with vanilla or lemon icing, white chocolate, milk/dark chocolate or whatever you like.

For the dough:

3 tsp dried yeast

315ml luekwarm milk (I used semi-skimmed)

1 Tblsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

50g softened butter

1 - 1 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice (optional)

420g standard plain flour (not bread flour)

If you're making the dough in a bread maker then follow the instructions for the machine and add the ingredients in the order that they instruct you to.

If you're making the dough either by hand or in a stand mixer then just put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly until you get a dough just firm enough to knead.

Then knead by hand on a floured surface, or knead using a mixer, for about 7 - 10 minutes until the dough forms a soft ball that springs back when lightly pressed.

Turn the dough in a greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise for about 45 minutes in a warm place.  I just leave mine to rise in the stand mixer as the plastic guard seals the bowl nicely and it rises quite happily in there, and because I can't be bothered washing up another bowl.

Near the end of the proving time make the filling. 

For the filling:

50g softened butter

2 Tblsp Sugar

1/4 cup plain flour

1 tsp almond essence or 1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup slivered almonds (I didn't have any so left them out)

1/2 cup dried fruit (I normally use chopped dried apricots)

1/2 cup natural coloured glace cherries, well rinsed

Beat together the softened butter, sugar, essence/extract and flour to make a paste and then fold in the fruit and nuts (if you are using them). 

Knead the dough for about a minute and then roll out in a large rectangle shape on a well floured surface.  Spread the filling over the dough and then roll it up, starting from the longest side. 

Using a sharp knife slice the roll in half lengthwise.  Put the dough onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking parchment.  Twist the two halves lightly together, cut sides out, and form into a ring.  Pinch the ends together to seal the wreath.

Leave to prove again for about 45 minutes  - 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size and then glaze with lightly beaten egg or milk.

Bake at 200C/Gas Mark 6/400F for 20 - 30 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through.

Once you've made the wreath you can leave it plain or drizzle it with vanilla or lemon icing, white chocolate, milk/dark chocolate or whatever you like. I made a basic vanilla icing using 1 cup icing sugar, 2 tsp vanilla extrace and 1 - 1 1/2 Tblsp water and drizzled that over the wreath. If you wanted it to be really kitch you could sprinkle some Christmas cake decorating sprinkles shaped like trees and baubles over the icing.

My 11yo daughter misinterpreted drizzle the icing and drowned it in icing instead LOL
I hope you enjoy the challenge and my sincere apologies if you were expecting somethng much more complicated and spectacular.

Best wishes to you all for the festive season however you choose to celebrate it! xx

1 comment:

  1. A great challenge! I really really love the festive theme and the tasty recipe- looking forward to taking part!


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