Forget the tinsel – this edible Swedish wreath is just as much a festive masterpiece
“This always looks impressive and I find it great fun to make. It’s a good one if you want to show off, as rolling out the dough into a massive sheet and sprinkling over the filling can be a real spectacle.”
For the wreath:
• 430g strong white bread flour, plus more to dust
• 7g table salt
• 10g ‘quick’ yeast
• 125g caster sugar
• 25g unsalted butter, chopped into 1 cm cubes, plus more for the bowl
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 80ml whole milk
• 100ml water
• 75g dried apple
• 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 75g candied mixed peel
• 75g sultanas
For the toppings:
• 100g apricot jam
• 100g icing sugar
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 50g pecans
• rolling pin
• tape measure
• pastry brush
• baking tray
• wire cooling rack
• piping bag
1 Put the flour in a bowl and add the salt and yeast to different sides. Tip in 25 g of the sugar and mix with a wooden spoon, then stir in the butter. Add the eggs to the milk with the water, then pour this into the bowl.
2 Mix with the spoon until combined enough to mix with your hands, then tip on to a well-floured work surface and knead for 5–10 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy.
3 Put the dough into a lightly buttered bowl, cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm for 1 hour, until doubled or tripled in size.
4 Cut the dried apple up with scissors into pieces about the same size as the sultanas. Mix the cinnamon with the remaining 100 g of sugar.
5 Once the dough has risen, tip it out on to a lightly floured surface and knock back by gently folding in on itself for about a minute. Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 60 x 40 cm, in landscape orientation as you look at it.
6 The dough will still be a bit tight after the knocking back, so you may need to rest it for 5 minutes. Try to make sure the corners are as sharp as you can get.
7 Once the dough is rolled out evenly, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over, making sure not to cover the 5 cm edge closest to you as this is the bit that will stick the ring together later.
8 Evenly sprinkle all the dried fruit over the dough and brush the bare edge closest to you with water. Now roll it up. Start with the long edge furthest away from you and gently roll it towards you.
9 Use the wetted edge to stick the roll closed. Leave it for 5 minutes to stick well.
10 Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Curl the rolled dough into a ring. The ends of the ring will probably be a bit messy, so use a very sharp knife to cut ragged edges off and stick the ends together with a bit of water.
11 Try to keep the seam of the ring underneath and out of sight. Transfer the newly formed ring on to the prepared baking tray.
12 Using a large pair of scissors, cut into the ring, going about two-thirds of the way in with each cut, at intervals every 3–4 cm.
13 Gently stretch out each segment and twist it about 45 degrees to expose the fruit swirls inside. Place a plastic bag over the baking tray to form a tent and leave to rise for 1 hour.
14 Preheat the oven to 220°C and bake for 25 minutes, keeping an eye on the ring during the last 10 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn. If it does begin to colour too much, cover with foil.
15 Meanwhile, put the jam into a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of water and place over a low heat. Once the ring is cooked, take it out of the oven and set on a cooling rack. Paint the hot jam on to the still warm ring; use plenty!
16 Make the icing by beating the icing sugar and lemon juice together. Once smooth, transfer to a piping bag and pipe on to the cooled ring. Use the icing to stick pecans on to the ring to decorate, then serve.
Recipe courtesy of Richard Burr, extracted from B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself