Dried Cranberry Sweet BreadCourse: BreakfastCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Intermediate
I love this recipe and it has become a staple for Christmas Morning. I have made it every year for the last 8-9 years. It does taste better made one day ahead unless you get up super early and make it for brunch. The flavors are delicious and the almond is subtle as I worried my kids wouldn’t like it when they were younger but they loved it. You can use dried cherries instead of dried cranberries. I have done with both and prefer how the cranberries cut through the sweet. I also prefer orange zest in this recipe to the lemon. I use Grand Marnier. The presentation is beautiful and reheated served sliced with a fruit salad and a cup of coffee is a perfect Christmas morning tradition. My kids dip it into their hot cocoa. This works at other times of the year and is wonderful for a brunch and goes nicely with eggs and bacon. It is a sweet treat everyone will enjoy.
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1/2 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
3 Tablespoons sugar
4 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon cardamom powder
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3 1/2 cups flour
- Cranberry Almond Filling
3/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries, soaked in brandy or Grand Mariner
6 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup finely chopped balanced almonds
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon almond extract
- Sugar Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water and allow it to foam up after 1 or 2 minutes. Blend in the milk, sugar, butter, salt, cardamom, eggs, and lemon peel. Stir in 2 cups of the flour, one at a time. Beat for 2 minutes. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until you have soft workable dough, you might not need to use all the flour. Go easy adding it.
- Dump the dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, 5 to 10 minutes. Add more flour if needed to prevent sticking. Place in a lightly oiled mixing bowl large enough to accommodate dough dough when doubled in size. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Prepare cranberry-almond filling: Drain the dried fruit and discard the liqueur or save it and use a little in the glaze. In a small bowl combine the drained fruit with the other ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.
- When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn onto a lightly floured board, kneading just enough to release any air bubbles. Roll the dough in to a 9×30 inch rectangle. Crumble the filling over the dough leaving 1 inch edge. Starting on the long side, tightly roll up the dough, pinching the edge against loaf to seal. Using a shard knife, cut roll in half lengthwise.
- Turn halves so they are facing up, then loosely twist them around each other, keeping sides up.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment, and carefully transfer the rope to the baking sheet and shape into a wreath or a large knot. Let is rise, uncovered, in a warm place, until puffy about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350. Bake wreath until lightly golden in color about 25 minutes. While the wreath bakes, make glaze.
- GLAZE: Stir all the ingredients together.
- Remove the wreath from oven. Cool for a few minutes then drizzle glaze over the warm wreath. Serve with a cup of coffee or tea or hot cocoa.