Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cranberry-Orange Sweet Bread

I will admit this yeast bread is somewhat time-consuming to make and the assembly is a little tricky. But it is well worth the efforts! If you don't have a ring pan, you can use a regular baking sheet and shape the bread into a circle, or even easier, keep the loaf in a rectangle shape. But make sure you cut the log horizontally and “braid” the two strands together.

There are a couple of “unusual” ingredients in this recipe and I highly encourage you to use them because they do make a big difference. Potato flour helps get a moist, tender loaf that holds together when you slice into it. It also adds shelf life to the finished product – not that you will have any issue eating this loaf up! Dry milk powder also works wonders on your bread's texture and makes the dough rise beautifully.

I usually only make this bread once a year and serve it to special company. It is always a big hit! Try it for a holiday breakfast or brunch, you will not be disappointed.

Makes one large circular loaf (12 to 16 slices)

  • ¾ cup lukewarm water = 175 ml d'eau tiède
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast = 2 cuillères à café de levure (de boulanger) déshydratée
  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour = 300 g de farine
  • 3 tablespoons potato flour = 3 cuillères à soupe (30 g) de farine de pomme de terre
  • ¼ cup non-fat dry milk powder = 30 g lait en poudre écrémé (type Régilait)
  • 1 teaspoon salt = 1 cuillère à café de sel
  • 2 tablespoons sugar = 2 cuillères à soupe (25 g) de sucre
  • Zest of 1 orange = zeste d'une orange
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened = 55 g de beurre, ramolli
  • 1 large egg = 1 oeuf
Filling 1
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted = 40 g de beurre, fondu
  • 2 tablespoons sugar = 2 cuillères à soupe (25 g) de sucre
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract = 1 cuillère à café d'extrait de vanille
Filling 2
  • ½ cup dried cranberries = 75 g de cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots = 75 g d'abricots secs, coupés en petits morceaux
  • 1 tablespoon water = 1 cuillères à soupe d'eau
  • ½ cup sliced almonds = 75 g d'amandes effilées
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour = 2 cuillères à soupe de farine
  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted = 15 g de beurre, fondu
  • 2 tablespoons milk = 2 cuillères à soupe de lait
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice (from ½ an orange) = 3 ou 4 cuillères à soupe de jus d'orange pressée (environ ½ orange)
  • ¾ to 1 cup confectioners' sugar = 100 à 130 g de sucre glace

To make the dough:
Dissolve yeast into lukewarm water.
Combine all-purpose flour, milk powder, potato flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add orange zest, butter, egg and water/yeast mixture.
Mix and knead (by hand or with dough hook if using Kitchen Aid) to make a soft, smooth dough. Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rise for about 1 ½ hours, until it's almost double in bulk.

To make Filling 1:
Mix the butter, sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.

To make Filling 2:
Soak the dried cranberries and apricots in the water. Set aside.

To assemble and bake:
On a floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle (at least 12" x 25").
Brush all over with Filling 1, then sprinkle with Filling 2 (soaked fruits, almonds and flour).
Roll into a log, starting with a long end.
Slice the log horizontally. Gently twist one piece around the other, keeping the layers facing upward.

Grease a 10" ring pan, or a baking sheet.
Fit the dough into the ring mold or shape into a circle on the baking sheet. Pinch the ends together.
Cover with a cloth and let rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.

Bake for 30 minutes, until lightly browned at the edges. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 30 minutes glazing.

To make the glaze:
Combine butter and milk. Add orange juice and sugar and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cooled loaf.


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