Making Swedish Coffee Bread
Honestly, I don’t know why I made this now and not back when it was the Christmas season, though I’m pretty sure it’s just a method of procrastination. Some friends are coming over in a bit so I guess this (and the 3/4 of Devil’s Food Cake) is going to be the munchies of the day - nothing can work up an appetite quite like a marathon of cramming.
SWEDISH COFFEE BREAD (makes 1 wreath, adapted from Simply Recipes):
[ 1/2 cup milk + 1/4 cup white sugar + 1/4 cup butter + 1 packet active yeast dissolved in 1/8 cup warm water + About 2 cups all purpose flour + 1/2 teaspoon salt ]
Put milk into a small saucepan and heat on medium heat until steamy (but not boiling).
Remove from heat. Stir in the butter and sugar until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Pour into a mixing bowl. Mix in yeast mixture and salt.
Slowly add in 1 cup of the flour. After the first cup gradually add more flour until a soft dough starts to form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead dough for 7 to 10 minutes until smooth,
Use a dough hook in a stand-up mixer and knead the dough that way for 7 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed to keep the dough from being too sticky.
Note that the dough should remain soft, so take care not to add too much flour.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, covered with a clean tea-towel or with plastic wrap. Let rise for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
After the time has passed, it’s time to stuff it with the filling:
[ 1 tablespoon melted butter + 1/8 cup brown sugar, packed + 1/2 tablespoon white sugar + 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ] OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup golden raisins + 1/4 cup slivered almonds or other nuts (I’m using cashew here)
Press the dough down to deflate it a bit. Spread it into a 8-inch by 16-inch rectangle on a lightly floured, clean, flat surface
Brush the dough with melted butter, leaving at least a half inch border on the edges so the dough will stick together when rolled.
Yep, that’s the broken rolling pin from the mango shaved ice post shamelessly posing in the picture. I should really get some new equipments.
Mix together the brown and white sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle the dough with the mixture.
Sprinkle on more fillings such as raisins, slivered almonds, or almond paste - get as creative as you like!
TO MAKE THE WREATH SHAPE:
Carefully roll the dough up lengthwise, with the seam on the bottom. Carefully transfer to a greased or lined baking sheet.
Form a circle with the dough on the baking sheet, connecting the ends together.
Using scissors, cut most of the way through the dough, cutting on a slant. Work your way around the dough circle.
After each cut, pull out the dough segment either to the right or to the left, alternating as you go around the circle. The dough circle should look like a wreath when you are done.
I know mine doesn’t look like a wreath at this stage (I kinda wished I skipped the pulling left and right step), but don’t worry, once you let it rise again and bake it, it will look much, much better.
Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm area for a second rise. Let rise for about 40 minutes to an hour; the dough should again puff up in size.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Use a pastry brush to brush some melted butter over the dough. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
If the top is getting well browned, tent with some aluminum foil.
Remove from oven and let cool completely.
If you want, you can also make a final glaze to drizzle on top:
SUGAR GLAZE (optional):
[ 1/2 cup powdered sugar + 1/2 tablespoon water ]
Whisk together powdered sugar and water to create a final glaze.
Add more water if the glaze is too thick to drizzle, add more powdered sugar if the glaze is too runny.
Drizzle the glaze in a back and forth motion over the pastry.
Estimated Nutritional Information:
Note: Rejoice! Because this version didn’t use eggs in the dough or the cream+egg for the eggwash like in the original recipe, the calories go down a bit.
1 wreath, serves approx. 6-7 people.
Total Calories: 246 kcals
Total Fat: 3.9g (2.6 saturated)
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