The Holsts' edible wreath
This wreath is something really special. It may seem rather complicated the first time you try it, but we think that it will be received so enthusiastically that you will want to make it again. Simplify the shaping if you like.
Makes a 35-40cm wreath:
3 tsp active dried yeast
1 1/4 cups warm milk
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
50g butter, softened
3 cups (420g) standard plain flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup standard plain flour
3/4 tsp almond essence
1/2 cup each toasted slivered almonds and chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup each red and green glace cherries, chopped
Bread Machine Instructions:
Carefully measure all the dough ingredients into a 750g-capacity bread machine in the order specified by the manufacturer. Set to the dough cycle and start. When the cycle is complete, remove the dough and fill, shape and bake as described below.
If making by hand:
Measure the first five ingredients into a large bowl with 1 1/2 cups of the flour. Mix thoroughly, then cover and leave for 15 minutes or longer in a warm place.
Add the remaining flour and stir to make a soft dough, adding a little extra flour if necessary, just firm enough to knead. Knead with the dough hook of an electric mixer or by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes, adding extra flour if necessary, until the dough forms a soft ball that springs back when gently pressed.
Turn the dough in 2 tsp of oil in a clean, dry bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm draught-free place for 30-40 minutes.
Filling, Shaping and Baking
Prepare the filling by beating together the softened butter, sugar, flour and essence, thengently fold in the fruit and nuts.
Lightly knead the dough for one minute, then roll out into a 25 x 70cm rectangle on a well-floured surface.
Dot the filling evenly over the dough, then roll up tightly starting from a long edge. Using a sharp knife cut the roll in half lengthwise, then twist the two strands loosely together, cut sides out. Form into a ring, pinching the ends together, on a floured baking sheet. Leave to rise in a warm, draught-free place for 40-60 minutes or until double its original size.
Brush lightly with egg glaze (lightly whisk an egg with 1 Tbsp water and 1/2 tsp sugar) then bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. If you like, drizzle while warm with icing made by mixing until smooth 1 cup sifted icing sugar with 2 Tbsp lemon juice.
The Dominion Post