Chocolate and cranberry Christmas wreath

This month I attempted my second ever Fresh From The Oven baking challenge – a Christmas Wreath.

I changed up the flavours a bit to suit what I had and what the friendly pony would like to eat – chocolate and cranberry with an orange glaze rather than fruit and nuts – but I think it was quite a festive combination.

I was really happy with how this turned out – I’m still no bread expert and I found the dough quite wet and tricky to work with, but the taste and texture were great, and I thought the twisting pattern looked pretty when the slices were cut!

Chocolate and cranberry Christmas wreath (recipe adapted from Utterly Scrummy Food for Families):

Serves 8-10

For the dough:

  • 3 tsp dried yeast
  • 315ml lukewarm milk
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50g softened butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 420g plain flour

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until combined. The recipe says to knead on a floured surface, but I found the dough really wet and sticky so I just kneaded it in the bowl, for about 10 minutes.

Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.

For the filling:

  • 50g softened butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Mix all the filling ingredients together in a bowl. Tip the dough out onto a well-floured surface, knead for a couple of minutes then roll or stretch out into a large rectangle, mine was about 30cm x 20cm. Spread the filling evenly onto the dough, then roll the dough up from one of the long sides.

Cut the roll in half, lengthways, then twist the two halves together and bring the ends around so it creates a ring. Pinch the ends together, then leave on a baking sheet to rise for 45 minutes, or until doubled again.

Brush with milk then bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees, or until golden and cooked through.

You can use any icing you like to glaze, but I made a simple orange one with 1/2 cup of icing sugar and 1 1/2 tbsp orange juice, and drizzled on top. Cut into slices and serve while warm.

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