Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Bread Wreath - Step by Step!

Hi All! It's been terribly long since my last post, I apologize for that! Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving.

My fiance and I made this Holiday Bread Wreath for Thanksgiving, and it was a huge hit! We got the recipe from the Food Network magazine, and you can also find it on their website. Let me start by saying - if you want to make this, make sure you can dedicate most of your day. The actual cook time isn't very long, but the prep time is lengthy - about 6 hours of prep time (most of which is waiting around while it's in the fridge) and only 20 min of actual cook time. However, it was totally worth it and our family and friends were asking for the recipe! So festive and fun for the holidays. Here's what you'll need:

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for forming the loaves
2 1/4 cups bread flour
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon rapid-rise yeast

Here we go!

What they will look like when you're done! So cute right? 

To start: Mix 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, the bread flour, salt, yeast and 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water (105 degrees F to 110 degrees F) in a large bowl with a wooden spoon to make a wet and sticky dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until almost tripled in size, 2 to 3 hours (the top will flatten and begin to sink in the center).


After 2-3 hours

Divide the dough in half and transfer one piece to another bowl. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. (See what I mean about the waiting around time? HA!)

Put a pizza stone or inverted rimmed baking sheet on the highest oven rack and put a broiler pan on the lowest rack; preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, sprinkle each piece with 1/4 cup flour, then shape each into a smooth, taut ball. Cover the bowls loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.

Put a large piece of parchment paper on a pizza peel or another inverted baking sheet and dust with flour. Using floured hands, pick up a ball of dough and poke your thumbs through the center to make a hole. Place on the parchment, then gently stretch the dough from the center to make a 9-inch-diameter ring with a 5-inch hole in the center. Sprinkle generously with flour. Lay out another sheet of parchment, dust with flour and repeat to shape the other ball of dough into a ring. Let rest, uncovered, 15 minutes.

Holding kitchen shears at a 45 degrees F angle, make deep cuts at 1-to-1 1/2-inch intervals all the way around both dough rings, pulling the cut sections away from the center as you go to make "leaves."

Almost done... 

YAY! Let rest, uncovered, until plump, about 15 more minutes. (Is it time for a wine yet?)

Slide one dough wreath (on the parchment) directly onto the hot stone. Carefully pour 1 cup water into the broiler pan underneath to create steam; quickly shut the oven door. Bake until the bread is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Repeat with the second dough wreath, adding another cup of water to the broiler pan.

And we're finally done!

The bread was so soft and delicious! I found it a little difficult to make the proper cuts for the leaves, but you get the hang of it after a few cuts. What do you guys think, do you have the guts to try? Haha, hope everyone had a great weekend! xoxo