Herb & Garlic Wreath Bread

I’m getting the itch to be baking with yeast (haven’t done much in recent years), and I spotted this great bread on one of my blog feeds. Although it is billed as a “wreath”, I think the shape lends itself to any party setting, and this would make quite an impression when delivered to the table.

I also think this could be done as a cinnamon roll wreath, and make an outstanding centerpiece for a brunch.  Credit for the recipe goes to “My Custard Pie”, a blogger named Sally who lives in Dubai.

Ingredients for the dough (I translated the grams & ml to cups and ounces)

3 teaspoons dried yeast
1 1/3 cup lukewarm milk
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 oz (1/2 stick) softened butter
3 cups plain flour (not bread flour)

Ingredients for the filling

a bunch of fresh herbs, roughly chopped  (I used lemon basil, basil, sage, rosemary and garlic chives)
2 oz (1/2 stick) softened butter
3 tbsp plain flour
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
freshly ground black pepper
zest of  1/2 lemon, finely grated
freshly grated parmesan
1 egg, beaten

Mix the lukewarm milk, yeast and sugar (if using) together until well-combined.  Put the yeast mixture, flour, butter and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly until you get a dough just firm enough to knead. Knead by hand on a floured surface, or using the dough-hook in a  mixer for about 7 – 10 minutes until the dough forms a soft ball that springs back when lightly pressed.  Turn the dough into a greased bowl, cover with clear wrap and leave to rise for about 45 minutes in a warm place.  Near the end of the proofing time make the filling so that it’s ready to use as soon as the dough has proofed.

Beat together the herbs, softened butter, flour, chilli flakes, garlic, black pepper, lemon zest.  Knead the dough for about a minute and then roll out in a large rectangle shape on a well floured surface.  Spread the filling evenly over the dough, sprinkle over some parmesan, and roll it up, starting from the longest side.  Put the dough onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking parchment, to form a circle, keeping the seam on the farthest edge.  Pinch the ends together to seal the wreath.  Snip the dough 16 times from the outer edge of the circle at about 4 cm intervals, cutting two-thirds of the way through, using a very sharp knife or kitchen scissors. Lift and turn every other section of dough towards the center of the circle. Leave to prove again for about 45 minutes  – 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.  Brush with lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with some grated parmesan.

Bake at 400F for 20 – 30 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through.

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