This cranberry almond wreath is great for holiday get togethers and morning breakfasts, make the wreath dough the night before, and bake it right away in the morning.
For the Dough
65 g / ⅓ cup Crystal margarine, melted
543 g / 4¼ cup All purpose flour
5 g / 1 tsp Green cardamom, ground
400 ml / 1¾ cup Milk, cold
6 g / 2 tsp Yeast, dry active
12 g / 1 tbsp Honey
12 g / 1 tbsp Salt
For the Filling
75 g / 3/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries, soaked in 1/2 cup (125 ml) triple sec
180 g / 3/4 cup Crystal margarine, softened to room temperature
75 g / 1/3 cup All-purpose flour
75 g / 3/4 cup Almonds, sliced
For the Glaze
120 g / 1 cup Powdered sugar
45 ml / 3 tbsp Lemon juice
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and cardamom with the milk, melted Crystal margarine, yeast, honey, and salt. Using a large wooden spoon, combine the mixture until it begins to come together.
- Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead together into a ball.
- Place the dough into a bowl that is lined with Crystal Margarine. Cover with plastic wrap and rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto the counter and give it a knead for about 2 minutes. Yeast can not move on it’s own, so through the kneading dough you help the yeast move around and find fresh flour to feed off of.
- Place the dough back into the bowl and cover for another 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the Cranberry-Almond Filling by draining the dried fruit of its triple sec. In a small bowl, combine the drained fruit with remaining filling ingredients to form a dough like consistency. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to fill the dough.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5, three more times. for a total of 4 kneading sessions.
- Place the dough back into the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.
- In the morning, remove the dough from the refrigerator, and let it come up to room temperature. This takes about 30 minutes.
- Place the dough onto a floured surface and gently begin rolling out the dough with a rolling pin, flouring the dough as needed to keep it from sticking, until it is approximately 24” wide by 36” long, with a thickness of about 1/4”. This doesn’t need to be a perfect square, it just needs to be thin.
- Begin spreading the filling across the dough, leaving a 1 inch border clear of filling around the dough. With the length of the dough in front of you, begin rolling a tight log away from you, pinching the dough together at the end long the length of the dough.
- With a sharp knife, begin slicing down the centre of the length of the roll leaving you two long pieces of layered dough.
- Begin gently twisting the two strands of dough around each other, trying to keep the cut side up. Carefully transfer the braided strip on to a lined baking sheet, forming it into a round, wreath like shape. Pinch together the loose ends and tuck them under the wreath
- Pre-heat oven to 450°F(260°C).
- Place the baking tray in a warm place and allow the dough to double in size.
- Place the wreath into the oven and reduce the temperature down to 350°F(170°C). Allow the wreath to bake until all the edges have an even, deep golden colour, this should take 20-25 minutes.
- Once the wreath is fully baked, remove it from the oven, brush with a little melted margarine and allow it to cool.
- While the wreath is cooling, prepare the glaze by mixing together the lemon juice with the icing sugar, until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the still warm wreath and you’re ready to serve.
- If cranberries are not a family favourite, then replace them with dried cherries, raisins or even apricots.
- Once you have the wreath braided and on the baking sheet, you can place it, covered, in the fridge to proof over-night, this way you’ll have a ready to bake wreath in the morning. Just pull it from the fridge, allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes, and bake as per instructed.