Raspberry jam wreath
- December 2016
- Serves 8-10
- Hands-on time 50 min, oven time 45 min, plus rising & proving
What better way to start Christmas morning than with a slice of this sticky, golden bread swirled with raspberry jam?
- 2.4g (0.9g saturated)
- 56.5g (22g sugars)
- 450g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1½ tsp salt
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tbsp light soft brown sugar
- 290ml milk (whole or semi-skimmed)
- 1 large free-range egg, lightly beaten, plus 1 extra for glazing
- Sunflower oil for greasing
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
For the filling
- 200g raspberry jam
- Sift the flour and salt together into a large mixing bowl, then stir in the yeast, cinnamon and light brown sugar. In a small saucepan, gently heat the milk until steaming (don’t let it come to the boil), then turn off the heat and leave the milk to cool for 5 minutes or so.
- When the milk is warm (not hot) to the touch, pour it onto the flour in the bowl, then add the beaten egg. Quickly mix with a spoon, then use your hands to bring it together as a dough. If you have a stand mixer, attach a dough hook and knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until it springs back to the touch. (Alternatively, knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes until springy and smooth – don’t add more flour, even by dusting the work surface, as it will affect the dough texture.)
- Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, put in the dough and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for 1 hour in a warm place until doubled in size, light and pillowy. Meanwhile, line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
- Knock the air out of the risen dough and tip out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a 75cm x 25cm rectangle 3-4mm thick (this might be tricky as the dough will keep contracting, but persevere). Spread the jam thinly over the rectangle then, with a long side facing you, tightly and carefully roll up the dough into a long swiss roll.
- Using a sharp, heavy knife, halve the dough along its length. Turn both pieces cut-side up so you can see the layers. Press the 2 strands together at one end, then twist the pieces of dough around each other, keeping the cut sides up and always lifting the far strand over the near strand. You’ll need to move the ends of the strands away from you every now and then to make space. Do this gently, as the dough stretches easily and needs to be kept as plump as possible. Lift the twisted dough carefully onto the baking sheet, then gently shape it into a circle, pressing one end on top of the other. Loosely cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove for 45-60 minutes until well puffed. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
- To check the dough has proved enough, gently press the underside – if it’s ready to bake, your finger will leave a slight indent. Gently brush the dough with egg glaze and sprinkle over the demerara sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until risen and golden, then loosely cover with foil and cook for 25 minutes more or until crisp on the outside but still soft inside (it should feel a bit like brioche). Take out the baking sheet and leave to stand for 5 minutes, then carefully lift the wreath onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with extra jam, if you like.
Use a firm-set jam so it stays inside when you roll up the dough. We used Tiptree (Bonne Maman was runny).
If you’d like to add a bit more jam after cooking (depending on how practised you are at rolling you might lose a bit before the wreath goes in the oven), brush it into the grooves after cooking and return it to the oven for a couple more minutes to set.
To prepare the dough up to 24 hours in advance, leave to rise overnight in the fridge, then bring back to room temperature before knocking back and rolling out (step 4).
The wreath is best eaten on the day it’s made.
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