This blood orange wreath is all I ever want or need from a baking project – it’s not hard but hugely satisfying. The process of kneading the dough then rolling and pleating the wreath is a bit of a project, but a fun one and the dough is beautiful and soft to work with.
And even if it doesn’t look perfect it’s going to taste wonderful and really that’s the most important thing!
This recipe comes from the Winter chapter of my book A Basket by the Door.
Sweet dough recipe
1 cup (250ml) milk
3 tsp dry yeast
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
500g plain flour
Pinch of salt
- Combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat and stir just until the milk is warm and the butter has melted. Remove from heat and cool until lukewarm temperature.
- Tip the milk and butter mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer with dough attachment.
- Add the yeast, sugar, egg, flour and salt and knead for five minutes then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and finish kneading for a minute or so by hand. You can also do the entire kneading process by hand, to do this, combine all dry ingredients on a work surface, make a well in the centre then add the milk/butter mixture and the egg then knead together.
- Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.
Sweet wreath with blood orange curd
Prep time 3 1/2 hours (including 3 hours resting time)
Cook time 25 mins
This wreath is a glorious big pleated thing and is just such a joy to make and share on a chilly Spring afternoon or morning! For the curd, just follow your favourite recipe and swap two of the lemons with blood orange juice.
1 quantity of basic sweet dough
Zest of two oranges
1 cup blood orange curd
Egg wash; 1 egg and 1 tbsp cream
1/4 cup (55g) demerara sugar
Make the dough up according to master recipe but add the orange zest at step three, with the flour and other dry ingredients before kneading.
To make the filling just mix the soft butter, sugar and cinnamon together and set aside.
After step four, gently roll dough out into a large rectangle and transfer to a baking tray, cover with plastic and place in the fridge for an hour. This will make the twisting/rolling part much easier. Preheat oven to 200C. Now, once ready to roll, take the dough out of the fridge and spread with the curd.
Roll dough from the longest edge of the rectangle into one long sausage. Now, cut this in half lengthways, right down the middle so you have two long half cylinders, like you’ve cut a toilet paper roll in half to make a toy trough – I hope that makes sense! Starting with your two half cylinders facing cut-side up, take the two ends and twist together into a braid, pressing the ends together. This bit can take a bit of practice but honestly it’s quite fun and not tricky once you get the idea. Whisk the cream and egg together to make an egg wash. Gently transfer your wreath back to the lined baking tray, brush with the egg wash, sprinkle with the demerara sugar and bake for 10 minutes at 200 then reduce heat to 180C and bake for a further 25 minutes or until the wreath is golden brown. Serve warm with the rhubarb compote from page and a little double cream or just a little extra curd.
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