|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 16 to 20|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4g||4%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||5%|
|Total Carbohydrate 10g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Try this breakfast or tea bread for Christmas morning. The braid is reminiscent of a pine cone or "wickelkind" (child wrapped in swaddling), a symbolic start to your day. Filled with jam, almonds and raisins, the bread is just sweet enough to please, but you might enjoy it with a little butter spread on top. This bread can be refrigerated overnight, which makes it a snap to bake for breakfast or Elevensies.
Note that some of the work needs to be done before, including proofing of the yeast.
- 3 cups/375 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon "rapid rise" yeast
- 1/4 cup/50 g sugar
- 1/2 cups, plus 1 tablespoon/125 mL milk (lukewarm)
- 3 tablespoons/50 g butter (melted)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup/112 mL apricot jam
- 1/3 cup/50 g whole almonds (ground)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup/50 g raisins
- 1 egg yolk
- Optional: sugar glaze of choice
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this recipe is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Proof the Yeast:
Gather the ingredients.
Lightly spoon the flour into measuring cup or weigh.
Place flour in a mixing bowl and create a hollow in the middle.
Place yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in the hollow, pour the milk over that, and sprinkle a little flour over the milk.
Cover with a clean towel and let the yeast proof for 15 minutes.
Make the Dough
In a separate container, whisk together the butter, eggs, the remaining sugar, and salt until the sugar starts to dissolve.
Add the egg mixture to the flour and yeast and mix with your dough hook until the dough is smooth and satiny, about 5 minutes. The dough will still cling to the bowl a little bit but not be very sticky. You may add up to 1 tablespoon of flour or a sprinkle of water to adjust the consistency.
Butter a clean bowl, gather the dough up into a round ball and place in the bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise for 15 minutes.
Make the Filling
Mix the apricot jam, almonds, and vanilla together to form a thick paste.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured board to form a 12- x 16-inch rectangle.
Spread the apricot paste down the middle third of the dough. Sprinkle the raisins over the paste.
Braid the Bread
Using a sharp knife, cut 1-inch strips on the diagonal on the two outside thirds, stopping before you cut into the paste.
Fold one end over the filling and begin braiding by folding the strips of dough over each other like crossing arms or lacing up boots.
Finish the braid by folding the far end over before you cross the last two strips, to form a package. Don't worry if you can see the filling a little bit.
Place the bread on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Bake the Bread
Heat the oven for 1/2 hour to 385 F. Remove braid from the refrigerator at this time. You will not see any appreciable rise.
Mix egg yolk with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash and brush it over the braid.
Place the bread (still on a cookie sheet) on the middle rack in the oven, turn oven down to 350 F and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and done.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Serve and enjoy!
- You can brush with the bread with a sugar glaze (1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon water, heat until dissolved) or an American-style powdered sugar glaze (mix 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons melted butter until crumbly. Add milk by the teaspoon until spreadable or of drizzling consistency).