Cranberry and pistachio couronne

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Cranberry and pistachio couronne

This fruity wreath bursting with cranberries and pistachios would make a fabulous Christmas centrepiece! You can intensify the festive flavours in this bake by adding extra spices to the dough.

Ingredients

Makes 1 wreath

For the dough
150ml milk
15g butter
225g strong white flour, plus extra to dust
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons fast-action dried yeast
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
1 egg
oil, to grease

For the filling
1 orange
100g dried cranberries
50g raisins
90g unsalted butter, softened
70g soft light brown sugar
30g plain flour
70g pistachio nuts

To finish
60g smooth apricot jam
15g pistachio nuts, toasted

Instructions

  1. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and bring to scalding point over a medium heat. Add the butter to the milk, remove from the heat and leave the butter to melt and the mixture to cool to tepid, about 38°C.
  2. For the filling, finely grate the orange zest and squeeze the juice. Put the dried cranberries and raisins in a small bowl, pour over the orange juice and set aside to soak.
  3. For the dough, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl, stir in the yeast and caster sugar and make a well in the centre. Lightly beat the egg in a separate bowl.
  4. Pour the egg and three quarters of the tepid milk and butter mixture into the well in the flour, and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until a soft but not sticky dough is formed. Add more liquid if necessary, or a little flour if it becomes too sticky.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until elastic, smooth and shiny. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size, 1–2 hours.
  6. Meanwhile, to make the filling, drain the cranberries and raisins and discard the juice. Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a bowl, using an electric whisk, until light and fluffy. Add the flour, pistachio nuts, raisins and cranberries, and orange zest and stir well to combine.
  7. Turn out the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently roll out into a rectangle about 35 x 25cm. Spread the filling over the dough and roll it up lengthways as you would a Swiss roll, making sure it is well sealed. Using a large floured knife, cut the roll in half lengthways leaving one end intact to help with twisting the dough.
  8. Twist both halved lengths together to form a rope and then join the ends to form a crown (couronne) shape. Carefully transfer this to a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove until it has increased in size by half again, and when you press your finger lightly in the side, an indentation remains. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C.
  9. Bake in the oven for 25–35 minutes until golden brown with no grey patches of uncooked dough. Transfer the couronne to a wire rack to cool.
  10. To finish, melt the jam with a little water and brush over the loaf, then sprinkle over the pistachio nuts.

If Christmas has inspired you to get baking, you can learn the basics and confidently create your favourite sweet treats in our How to Cook Cakes - Part 1 class this January. Or, if baking to entertain is more your game, join the "Boy who Bakes" for in depth demonstrations and hands on practice for the daintiest and most delectable tea time bakes in Edd Kimber's Afternoon Tea!

Sophie Hibbert

Author: Sophie Hibbert

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