This post is either really early for next Christmas or way late for this past one. I just hope it's not too late for the very last ever Sourdough Surprises! It's not easy saying good-bye to this group. A great group of women (an maybe one man) who I've so enjoyed baking along with for the last 3 years. I had to eat a lot of this bread just to try and get over it!
The last challenge was a Holiday themed one. I googled around and saw some Holiday wreath shaped breads which I thought would be perfect. I worked up a formula and as always I used yeast in my recipe along with a cup of freshly fed and tangy starter. This makes enough for two wreaths, or you could cheat like I did and make one ring and a small batch of cinnamon buns. I had to eat a lot of those as well.
sourdough holiday wreath
2 cups dried fruit
1 cup apple sauce
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 ounce yeast
1 cup sourdough starter
2 eggs (plus one for brushing)
3 & 1/2 - 4 cups white whole wheat flour
6 tablespoon soft butter
4 ounces cream cheese
2 cups confectioners sugar
For the filling: combine all ingredients in a large bowl, cover and set aside.
For the dough: in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook combine milk, sugar, yeast and starter and let sit for 5 minutes. Add eggs, yolks and 3 cups of flour; mix on medium speed to form dough. Add more flour if needed, dough should just a little sticky. On medium speed add soft butter a little bit at a time.
Turn dough out on lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Transfer dough to a buttered bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours. (Or overnight in the refrigerator.)
Punch down dough and divide in half. Roll each half into an 18 by 9 inch rectangle. Spread each with half the filling. Starting at the long end roll the dough up and transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. Form into a ring and seal the ends together. Cut around the edges with a scissors about 2/3 of the way into the ring. Turn each section on it's side. Cover and let rise 1 to 1 &1/2 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden. Cool on racks. Beat cream cheese and confectioners sugar and spread on cooled rings. Decorate with jimmies.