Cooking with La Motte
All Spice & Nut Bread Wreath
It’s nearly that festive time of year again when families gather around a meal to celebrate the end of another busy year. At a time of the year when traditions are a given, whether you like them or not, why not experiment with something new this Christmas?This impressive bread wreath made by the team at Pierneef à la Motte will make the perfect thing to serve for guests to snack on as they wait for lunch to be served. Don’t let it’s intricate appearance put you off, this bread is surprisingly easy to put together.
All Spice Dried Fruit and Nut Bread Wreath
Recipe by La Motte’s in-house baker Ricardo Slawers
Makes: 1 loaf
Difficulty: some effort
Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes (including 1 hour and 45 minutes for the dough to rise)
Cooking time: 25-35 minutes
1 ½ packets (15 g) active dry yeast
1 ½ C (375 ml) lukewarm water
6 Tbsp (90 ml) butter, softened
⅓ C (80 ml) non-fat dry milk powder
¼ C (50 g) sugar
¾ tsp (3.75 ml) salt
4 ½ to 5 ½ C (630 g-770 g) all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter, melted
1 C (100 g) whole almonds, chopped with the skins left on
1 ½ tsp (7.25 ml) ground cinnamon
1 C (100 g) pistachio nuts
1 C (150 g) dried fruit mix (sultanas, raisins)
1 C (150 g) cranberries
1 C (130 g) icing sugar
1 Tbsp (15 ml) water (optional)
¼ tsp almond extract (optional)
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add the butter, milk powder, sugar, egg, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
Turn onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 6-8 minutes). Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Punch the dough down. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 45 cm x 30 cm rectangle. Brush with the melted butter. Sprinkle with the chopped almonds, cinnamon, pistachios, dried fruit mix and cranberries to within 1.5 cm of the edges. Roll up like a Swiss roll, starting with a long side. Pinch seam to seal.
Place the roll seam side down on a greased baking sheet and bring the ends together to form a ring. Pinch the ends together to seal. Using scissors, make small cuts from the outside edge to one-third of the way towards the centre of the ring at 10 cm intervals. Open up the strips slightly twisting each strip to allow the filling to show. Cover and allow the bread to rise until doubled (about 45 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 190 °C.
Bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.
To top, either dust with icing sugar, or alternatively, mix the icing sugar, water and almond essence together until smooth and then drizzle over the wreath before serving.