[Bake with Maria] How to Make Lucia Bread - Christmas Series
Seeded Tear and Share Wreath Bread Recipe
Mix together the yeast with 50ml warm water. Put the flour and salt in a large bowl, and make a well in the centre. Add the melted butter and the yeast mixture. Have 300ml warm water in a jug, and add half to the flour. Mix together until you have a soft dough, adding as much water as you need.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic, and bounces back when pressed. Roll into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, covered loosely with oiled clingfilm. Leave to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
Tip the dough on to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 30 seconds, divide into three equal pieces, then roll each into a sausage shape about 60cm (23½in) long. Press them together at one end then begin plaiting – bring the right strand over the middle piece, then lift the left piece into the middle of the two other strands. Continue this sequence, keeping it as tight as possible. Place on an oiled baking sheet and join the ends to create a wreath shape around the empty wooden cheese box. Cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave to prove for 15 to 20 minutes until an imprint remains when pressed with a finger. Heat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, 400F, gas 6.
Brush the loaf with the beaten egg, sprinkle over the seeds and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven, place the cheese in the wooden box, cut a cross in the middle and pour over the wine. Return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
Melt the runny honey with 1tbsp of hot water in a pan and brush over the warm bread.
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