No matter how pretty Christmas wreaths are to look at, nothing can bring as much joy as something you can actually eat. Introducing: the Christmas bread wreath to put a holiday cheery smile on everyone’s face.
Easily complementary to a wide variety of toppings, from savory spreads and gravies to sweet jams and sauces, this wreath belongs on your holiday table this year.
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Yield: 10 servings
* 4 3/4 cups bread flour (about 20 1/4 ounces), plus more for dusting
* 1/3 cup granulated sugar
* 2 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
* 2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes quick-rising yeast
* 1 cup whole milk
* 2/3 cup heavy cream
* 7 tablespoons powdered milk
* 1 large egg
* Cooking spray
* 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, divided, plus more for brushing
* Flaky sea salt, for garnish
Combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, and powdered milk, followed by an egg last.
Add both mixtures at a medium speed, until combined. Clean the large bowl.
Fit the mixer with a dough hook attachment. Beat on medium speed until dough is smooth (about 10 minutes). Test out its quality by pulling off a small bunch and stretching it thin enough to be see-through. If it rips first, it needs to be beaten further until it’s more sturdy.
Lightly grease the large bowl with cooking spray, and place dough in greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until almost doubled in size (about 1 hour and 30 minutes).
Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Cut into thirds and flatten each piece, then tightly roll them into tubes. Freshly flour the work surface, then place tubes, seam sides down, on the work surface, then cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let rest 15 minutes.
One at a time, roll each dough piece into a 20- x 12-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Then it’s time to make each strip into 24 rectangles. Cut the strips lengthwise into 4 strips, and cut all of those strips crosswise into 6 strips each. Brush lightly with melted butter, then stack all 24 dough rectangles; now, repeat with remaining 2 dough pieces and remaining melted butter.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Get out the tube pan, which we hope you made sure you have before starting. Stand the stacks of dough on their side, like books on a shelf; then cover pan with lightly greased plastic wrap and let sit until dough rises to the top edges of pan (about 1 hour).
Remove plastic wrap, and bake until bread is golden brown and puffed (about 35 – 40 minutes). Take it out, let it stand in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove and place on a platter. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Then enjoy!