White Chocolate & Blueberry Bread Wreath
I have been wanting to make this for a very long time, this desire became even stronger after coming to a restaurant that is famous for their beautiful and delicious Berry French Toast, just to find out that they were not serving it in the evenings. At that moment I felt like a pregnant woman that has been refused something that she has been craving for a week. Disappointed, very disappointed I was.
But, I have finally got around to it and made this White Chocolate & Blueberry Bread Wreath that will be eaten warm out of the oven, with jam & butter, and of course as French toast. The white chocolate & the blueberry definitely take this otherwise plain wreath to a whole new level. This White Chocolate & Blueberry Bread Wreath makes a great gift when you go visit your friends these holidays. I dare you to try it!
In this recipe I used oil instead of butter. My grandma who was the queen of all things bread always told me that bread stays fresh longer if you use oil. If two loaves are too much for your family (although I highly doubt it), split the recipe in half, or freeze the sliced loaf up to 3 weeks. Anytime you want a slice with your breakfast tea or coffee, just microwave the slice for 10 seconds and then toast it in the toaster. This way you will have fresh tasting toast, every time.
White Chocolate & Blueberry Bread Wreath
- 1 egg beaten with a small pinch of salt
Mix together 1/2 cups warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 4 tsp. yeast and set it aside to rise for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile sift 4 cups of flour into a bowl of a mixer. Add the sugar and mix with the hook attachment on low speed. Make a little well in the middle of the flour and break the 2 eggs, yeast mixture, and 3 cups warm water. Let the mixer run on low speed for about 5 minutes, combining everything into a runny dough.
Add the remaining 2½ cups of flour and run the mixer for another 5-10 minutes on slow speed, until the dough does not stick to the walls of the mixer and a piece of dough can be stretched to make it see-through. At this point, the gluten in the flour should be very well developed so the dough should be very stretchy.
Add the 1/4 cups oil or butter and 1/3cups flour. Let the dough be kneaded for another 3-4 minutes until all the oil has been incorporated into the dough and the walls of the bowl do not look oily.
- Oil the inside of a separate large bowl, set aside. Take the dough and start folding the edges of the dough under, until you get a neat round ball. Place the dough ball in the oiled bowl, loosely cover and set this bowl over another bowl with warm water - this will help it rise better, if your house is not 80F; or you can place your bowl with the dough on top of your cupboards where the temperature is higher. Whichever place you choose it must be draft free. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
- When the dough is doubled in size, turn your oven to 400F and place the rack in the middle.
- Punch down the dough and cut away half of the dough. Shape it into a round ball by tucking the ends underneath and roll it out into about 1/3 inch thick rectangle on a well oiled surface. Be careful not to deflate all the bubbles that have formed on the inside of the dough.
Sprinkle 1 cup dry blueberries and 1 cup white chocolate chips all over the dough, leaving about 1 inch strip at the end. Lightly press the blueberries and white chocolate into the dough and roll it like a jelly-roll, making sure to roll it tightly with not air gaps, pinching the end together and leaving it seam side down for about 5 minutes on the table – this will help the dough relax.
- With both hands on the roll, with gentle pressure on the roll, start moving the roll away from yourself with your hands moving away and in opposite directions from each other. Keep doing this until the roll is 1/2 thin as when you started out. Fold the roll in two and twist the ends like a rope. Pinch the ends of the two logs together at the end and join them with the beginning of the twist.
- Set the wreath on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Loosely cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for about 1 hour or until almost doubled in size.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough.
- Once risen, brush the egg wash onto the dough with a brush.
- With a sharp serrated knife, in a swift motion make cuts in the middle of each twist following the curvature of the twist.
- Alternatively you can just stop after rolling the dough ‘jelly-roll’ style.
- Bake @ 400F, for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350F and bake for another 15 minutes. The bread will be a deep golden color.
- Let cool on a rack.
**You can use any kind of dried berry, making sure you soak it in warm water and then blot with a paper towel before spreading on the dough.
Also, you can use a combination of finely chopped walnuts and brown sugar, sliced apples & cinnamon sugar, poppy seed pie filling or any other filling you want, as long as it’s not too runny (cherry pie filling would not work :D).