I'm nearing the end of my journey through Whole Grain Breads by Machine or Hand, but I still have several sweet breads left. The reason for this is I've felt compelled to make them for the specific holiday that is described in the book. I'm not so sure I should wait until Christmas again to make this delicious treat. I can always call it the Fruit and Nut-Filled St. Patty's Day Wreath, right?
Fruit and Nut-Filled Christmas Wreath
3 eggs plus water equal to 1 1/3 cups
2 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cardamom
3/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups bread flour
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chopped nuts
6 Tbsp. flour
3/4 cup chopped candied cherries
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
6 Tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. almond extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. almond extract
Heat the water until warm, between 105ºF and 115ºF. Pour water and egg into warmed mixing bowl, and add yeast. Let stand 5 minutes.
Add salt, cardamom, nutmeg, sugar, butter, wheat flour, half the bread flour and dry milk. Beat well. Cover, and let stand 15 minutes.
Slowly add the remaining bread flour, and beat until a smooth dough forms. Knead the dough until soft and springy but soft to the touch. Gently knead in almonds . Remove the dough hook, cover the bowl and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, combine filling ingredients together in a small bowl.
Lightly grease a baking sheet. Turn dough onto lightly greased or floured surface, and punch dough down. Shape into a 9 x 30 rectangle. Sprinkle filling evenly on dough, leaving a 1-inch margin around the edges. Roll up jelly roll style, starting on the long end. Pinch the seam to seal.
Using a sharp knife, cut the foll in half lengthwise. Turn the cut sides up . Carefully twist the two halves together, keeping the cut sides up, to expose the filling. Shape the twisted dough into a circle on the greased baking sheet.Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Glaze with egg wash. Bake 20 minutes, until evenly browned. combine the icing ingredients, and drizzle the warm wreath with icing. Remove from baking sheet, and cool completely on a wire rack.