Mincemeat, marzipan and apple bread wreath – an impressive festive centrepiece full of Christmassy flavours.
One last post before Christmas! This mincemeat, marzipan and apple bread wreath is an impressive centrepiece that would be perfect for a festive breakfast. I somehow ended up with about five jars of mincemeat leftover from making various things and there are only so many mince pies that one can eat (though that number is rather high); so I decided to make this bread wreath instead.
I love this shaping technique for bread as it is so simple to do, yet it looks so effective. This impressive bread wreath (also often referred to as a couronne) would be perfect as a centrepiece for a festive breakfast table, or just to snack on throughout the holidays.
It is filled with mincemeat (the fruit kind obvs), diced marzipan – mine was homemade but any kind will do, and chopped apple. A brushing of warm apricot jam once it is baked gives it a lovely shine and, a drizzle of icing makes it look even more Christmassy.
I like to make the dough the day before I bake it and let it rise in the fridge overnight. This cuts down on the waiting time when you would rather be eating; and the slow rise improves the flavour of the bread.
Mincemeat, Marzipan and Apple Bread Wreath
- 50 g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 150 ml (2/3 cup) full fat milk
- 300 g (2 1/2 cups) strong white bread flour
- 8 g (2 1/2 tsp) fast action yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
- 1 large egg
- one 411g jar mincemeat
- 350 g (12 oz) marzipan diced
- 1 medium eating apple (such as braeburn) peeled, cored and finely diced
- 2 Tbsp apricot jam
- 100 g (1 cup) icing (powdered) sugar sifted
- a drop of milk
Heat the milk in a small pan with the butter until melted; remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. You should be able to hold your finger in it with no discomfort.
Tip the flour into the bowl of a food mixer with the sugar, yeast and salt, then mix. Lightly beat the egg in a cup. Pour the lukewarm buttery milk into the flour and add the beaten egg. Mix to combine, scraping down the sides as necessary, until a dough is formed. Then knead the dough for 5 minutes with a dough hook in the mixer, on a medium speed until smooth and elastic. Or, mix the ingredients in a bowl by hand, making a well in the centre of the flour to pour the egg and buttery milk into, mix and then bring the dough together with your hands before kneading it for 10 minutes on an un-floured work surface. It should be sticky at first but become smooth as you knead it.
Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave it to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has more or less doubled in size. Alternatively, place the bowl in the fridge and leave to rise overnight.
Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Without knocking it back, roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 33x25cm/13x10in in size.
Spread over the mincemeat evenly then scatter over the diced marzipan and apple.
Roll the dough up from one of the long edges into a log. Slice the log in half length-ways, exposing the filling. Twist the two halves together then shape into a circle, pinching the ends together to seal. Transfer onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, loosely cover with oiled clingfilm and set aside to rise for about an hour until the dough is puffy and springs back slowly when you press it with a finger.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Bake the bread for about 30-40 minutes until well risen, golden and cooked through - the internal temperature should reach at least 94C/202F. Cover loosely with tin foil partway through baking if the top starts to colour too much.
Leave the bread to cool on the tray before serving. While the loaf is cooling, heat the apricot jam with a splash of water in a small pan over a medium heat until runny. Pass through a sieve to remove any pieces of fruit, then brush the sieved jam all over the warm bread to glaze. Set aside to cool completely.
Just before serving, in a bowl mix the icing sugar with enough milk to form a runny icing and drizzle it all over the wreath.