Fes­tive breads

The Australian Women’s Weekly Food Magazine - - Celebrate Treats - PHO­TOG­RA­PHER BEN DEARNLEY STYLIST SOPHIA YOUNG PHOTOCHEF NA­DIA FONOFF

Take Christ­mas to the next level by bak­ing our heav­enly Eu­ro­pean-in­spired sweet breads.

APRI­COT & AL­MOND WREATH PREP + COOK TIME 1 HOUR 30 MIN­UTES (+ PROV­ING & COOL­ING) MAKES 1 LOAF (SERVES 12)

Make this show­stop­per edi­ble wreath the cen­tre­piece of a fes­tive break­fast, brunch or af­ter­noon tea. Cus­tomise it with a pretty rib­bon and dis­play it on a board or serv­ing plat­ter. ¼ cup (60ml) warm wa­ter

2 tea­spoons (7g) dried yeast

2 cups (300g) plain flour

¼ tea­spoon coarse cook­ing salt

¼ cup (60ml) milk, warmed

1 tea­spoon vanilla ex­tract

1 egg, beaten lightly

2 ta­ble­spoons caster sugar 1 ta­ble­spoon finely grated or­ange zest 40g but­ter, chopped,

at room tem­per­a­ture

1 egg, beaten lightly, ex­tra 1 ta­ble­spoon nat­u­ral flaked al­monds 1 ta­ble­spoon de­mer­ara sugar

APRI­COT FILL­ING

1½ cups (225g) dried apri­cots ¼ cup (55g) caster sugar

1 cup (250ml) wa­ter 1 Com­bine the wa­ter, yeast and ½ cup of the flour in a medium bowl. Stand in a warm place for 10 min­utes or un­til dou­bled in size.

2 Place re­main­ing flour, salt, milk, vanilla, egg, caster sugar, zest and but­ter in a large bowl of an elec­tric mixer fit­ted with a dough hook.

Add yeast mix­ture and mix un­til com­bined. Knead for 6 min­utes or un­til smooth and elas­tic.

3 Trans­fer dough to an oiled large bowl and cover with plas­tic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 1½ hours or un­til dough has dou­bled in size.

4 Mean­while, make apri­cot fill­ing.

5 Pre­heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease an oven tray.

6 Turn dough out onto a lightly floured sheet of bak­ing pa­per, then roll dough into a 15cm x 40cm rec­tan­gle. Spread apri­cot fill­ing over dough, leav­ing a 2.5cm bor­der along one long side. Turn pa­per so long side of dough, without the bor­der, is in front of you. Roll up dough to form a log, then shape log into a ring. Lift ring on pa­per onto oven tray. Place an 8cm greased metal dar­i­ole mould or ramekin in the cen­tre of the ring. Cover with oiled plas­tic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 30 min­utes or un­til dough has dou­bled in size.

7 Us­ing floured scis­sors, cut seven di­ag­o­nal slashes, about 10cm apart, into outer edge of dough. Brush the top of the wreath with ex­tra egg. Sprin­kle with al­monds and de­mer­ara sugar.

8 Bake wreath for 30 min­utes or un­til golden and sounds hol­low when tapped on the base. Re­move mould. Trans­fer wreath to a wire rack to cool. APRI­COT FILL­ING

Stir apri­cots, sugar and the wa­ter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat un­til sugar dis­solves. Bring to the boil. Re­duce heat and sim­mer, un­cov­ered, for 15 min­utes or un­til apri­cots are soft. Drain. Blend or process apri­cots un­til smooth.

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