It happens every year. It just sneaks up on me. This whole holiday madness. I swear after Halloween, every thing else becomes a blur until it's January 1st. It's so nice to relax and bake a gorgeous bread like this stollen wreath!!
I have a list of things I want to bake for the holidays. There are candies and cakes and gift ideas to bake. But first, I must tackle holiday breads that have caught my eye or have me inspired.
I found a stollen wreath in the holiday issue of Baking Heaven. I am a sucker for stollens. I have shared a couple here already:
Daring Baking’s Challenge: Christmas Stollen
Here are some other holiday bread inspirations:
Holiday Breakfast Wreath (very similar to this bread recipe I'm sharing today)
and my Bundt Panettone (ok, it’s not the traditional panettone…but it was wonderful and fun in a bundt pan!)
All of this talk about holiday breads is leading us to our latest #TwelveLoaves bread baking challenge...Holiday Breads!
#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and run with the help of Heather of girlichef, which operates smoothly with the help of our bakers.
Our host this month is Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake, and our theme is Holiday Breads.
- Apricot Ginger Panettone from A Shaggy Dough Story
- Bacon Fat Spice Loaf from girlichef
- Cranberry Kringle from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Eggnog Streusel Muffins from From My Sweet Heart
- Fruitcake Quick Bread from Rhubarb and Honey
- Gingerbread from Nik Snacks
- Holiday Fruit and Cheese Bread from Basic N Delicious
- Joululimppu (Finnish Christmas Bread) from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Kardemummakrans from Ma che ti sei MANGIATO
- Raisin and Nut Wreath Bread from A Baker’s House
- Stollen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Stollen Wreath from Cake Duchess
- Swiss Butter Braid from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Whole Wheat Cranberry and Walnut Bread from NinjaBaker
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 (1/2 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 4 1/2-5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup brandy or other liqueur
- 1/4 cup almond pastry filling
- 4 Tablespoons sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup almond slivers
For the filling:
- Place the dried fruits in a small bowl with the brandy; set aside.
- For the dough-
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature. Meanwhile, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl.
- Add 1 Tablespoon of the sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar, eggs and butter. Beat in cooled milk. Gradually add the flour and salt, scraping down side of bowl, until a soft dough forms.
- Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead the remaining flour into the dough, adding more flour if too sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. The dough will be soft.
- Grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Drain the dried fruits from the liqueur; set aside.
- Punch down the dough.
- Dump the dough out onto a floured surface, roll the dough into a 9- by 30-inch rectangle.
- Brush dough with 1/2 of melted butter. Spread the almond pastry filling in the middle. Sprinkle on the dried fruits and cinnamon-sugar.
- Brush the borders with water. Tightly roll the dough into log, rolling toward the clean border; pinch the seam to seal.
- Place roll seam-side down on the baking sheet. Cut the log in half lengthwise with a chef's knife.
- Twist the two halves together, crossing one over the other a few times. Pinch the end together, then tuck both pinched ends under the loaf slightly. From the twists into a wreath.
- Cover the wreath loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until plump, 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Uncover the wreath and brush with melted butter.
- Toss on the almond slivers.
- Bake the bread, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until golden brown (a thermometer inserted into the middle should register 170 degrees F to 175 degrees F), 30 to 35 minutes.
- If you have any butter left, brush some on the bread hot out of the oven and sprinkle on more cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Carefully transfer the wreath to a serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar...enjoy!!
- *This can be prepared 2 days ahead of time (if you can resist eating it!). After baking wreath, cool completely and wrap it tightly and carefully in foil paper. Store at room temperature then re-heat at 350° for 10-15 minutes.