"Golden" Christmas wreath... oh so soft & yummy!
This festive bread is a perfect way to celebrate the holidays. It smells like Christmas and tastes delicious!
Puffy bread smells like Christmas because it tastes like Christmas. It has a soft texture and a slightly crispy crust which gives it its signature flavor. The dough contains yeast which causes it to rise while baking which leaves behind that melting sensation... It's pretty basic yeast dough with some vegan butter added for flavor and one "secret" ingredient that will make it feel like you're in a Winter wonderland.🤫
Mandarin filling makes all the difference to bring up that holiday cheer
Mandarin filling is a type of sweetened, preserved fruit that is used to fill buns, cakes and breads. It is commonly made with a variety of fruits such as mandarin oranges, apricots, pears and berries. The most common filling used around Christmas is made of fresh mandarins. It's most flavorful when made from whole fresh mandarins, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice.
Now let's get to it, shall we?
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsp dry yeast (+1 cup wam water & 1 tsp sugar)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
Orange juice from 1 orange
Grated orange zest from 2 oranges (the "secret" ingredient 😏)
2 tbsp sugar
Pinch os salt
1/4 cup sugar
1-2 cups of water (just enough to cover the mandarins
10 mandarin oranges
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
Instructions (for the dough):
Add yeast granules to warm water with sugar, stir and wait for about 10 min. If it foams and "grows" 1/2 to twice the amount - it's active and ready for the dough!
Mix dry ingredients (flower, sugar, salt and zest), then add wet ones (yeast mixture, oil, juice) and kneed with #kitchenaid untill soft and consistent.
Make a dough into a ball, cover with clean kitchen towel and let it rise for about 2 hours (depending on the room temperature ir may take a bit longer or shorter. Dough should tripple in volume!)
PREP MANDARIN FILLING!
Rinse 10 mandarins and place (whole, eith rind!) into a sauce pan.
Add half of the sugar (1/8 cup) and water. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 min. Carefully fish out each mandarin, let it cool a bit and chop finely (or... if you're lazy like me - place into a food processor and pulse 2-3 times to turn into a nice rough (is that a right word?🤔) puree. Tranfer that puree back into a sauce pan with the sweet water you had and add remaining sugar plus cinnamon. Let it simer for another 20-30 min or untill it looks more like a jam and mandaring rind pieces taste like candies... And the scent is just heavenly! Let it cool.
After the dough has rissen & the filling has cooled
Roll the dough into approximately 20 x 10 inche rectangle and cover with mandarin filling (dont be shy, the more the filling, the more the flavor!) like in the picture
TIP: Start this process on the parchment paper which will make all the way to the oven, since those wreaths is quite hard to transfer to another surface once "braiding" is complete!
Then roll it up into the log and cut in half along (follow the pictures for reference).
When "twist-braiding", try to have the filling exposed side up.
Once the braiding is done, shape it into a round wreath and tuck in the ends to hide. Wait for a second rise of the dough (1hour)
Bake for 45 - 50 minutes in a 350°F oven. Don't be allarmed if the filling starts browning - it will caramelize nicely, harden and will taste like mandarin candy when cooled out of the oven!