Stollen babka wreath

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A great Christ­mas party or brunch cen­tre­piece. This gor­geous wreath will keep for a few days if stored in a cake tin or well wrapped.

SERVES 10 PREP 45 mins plus prov­ing COOK 45 mins MORE EF­FORT 2 x 7g sa­chets fast-ac­tion dried yeast

600g strong white bread flour, plus ex­tra for dust­ing

11/2 tsp mixed spice

50g golden caster sugar 400ml warm milk

50g salted but­ter, melted, plus ex­tra for greas­ing and to serve

1 large egg, beaten

85g dried cran­ber­ries

85g mixed dried fruit

1/2 or­ange, zested and juiced

1 le­mon, zested and juiced 300g golden marzi­pan, chilled 25g pis­ta­chios or al­monds, or a mix­ture roughly chopped 100g ic­ing sugar

1 Mix the yeast, flour, mixed spice, sugar and 1 tsp salt in a big bowl. Whisk to­gether the milk, melted but­ter and egg, then tip into the dry in­gre­di­ents and mix un­til it forms a sticky dough. Tip onto a work sur­face and knead for about 8 mins, un­til the dough feels soft and stretchy. Clean the bowl, grease it and re­turn the dough to it, cover with greased cling film and set aside for about 1-2 hrs, or un­til dou­bled in size, or chill for up to 24 hrs. In a small pan, sim­mer the cran­ber­ries, mixed dried fruit, zests and or­ange juice un­til the fruit looks plump. Leave to cool.

2 When you’re ready to shape the bread, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Tip the dough onto a flour­dusted sur­face. Roll out to a 50 x 30cm rec­tan­gle. Grate the marzi­pan over the sur­face of the dough (it’s eas­ier if the marzi­pan is cold). Scat­ter the soaked fruit and half the nuts evenly over, then press lightly with your hands so they stick into the dough a bit.

3 With a long side fac­ing you, roll up as tightly as you’re able to, like a Swiss roll (see step 1). Pinch the dough to­gether to seal the open edge, then use a large knife to cut the sausage of dough in half along its length, leav­ing one end in­tact by about 5cm (see step 2). You should now have two long strips of dough to work with. Move onto a large bak­ing sheet oiled and lined with parch­ment. Twist the two pieces to­gether, turn­ing the cut edge out­wards to ex­pose the marzi­pan and fruit fill­ing (see step 3). Once twisted, con­nect the two ends to make a wreath shape about 26cm in di­am­e­ter with a 12cm hole in the mid­dle, tuck­ing one end un­der the other to hide the un­cut piece of dough (see step 4). Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave the bread to prove for 30-40 mins un­til risen by roughly a third.

4 Un­cover the bread and bake for 40-45 mins un­til the dough is golden all over. You may want to ro­tate the tray halfway through cook­ing to get even re­sults. Leave to cool for 20 mins on the tray.

5 Mean­while, mix the ic­ing sugar with enough le­mon juice to make a thick but pourable ic­ing. Driz­zle over the wreath, then scat­ter with the rest of the nuts. Will keep in a tin or well wrapped for three days.

PER SERV­ING 537 kcals • fat 11g • sat­u­rates 4g • carbs 94g • sug­ars 48g • fi­bre 4g • pro­tein 13g • salt 0.7g

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