by ADMIN on JULY 18, 2011
Making a yeast bread can be a daunting task – how much do I knead? Did I let it rise enough? But taking a leap of faith and experimenting with rising breads can be incredibly rewarding. Case in point: Braided Pumpkin Wreath bread. Moist, spongy, not-too-sweet-but-sweet-enough, and with a sprinkle of poppy seeds for crunch and pizzazz. Golden brown and delicious. Braided Pumpkin Wreath Author: Eat Better American Prep time: 1 hour 45 mins Cook time: 25 mins Total time: 2 hours 10 mins Serves: 24 Moist, spongy, and with a hint of sweetness - this is a winner yeast bread. We love it!
5¾ to 6½ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup sugar
1.5 tsp salt
1 package regular active dry yeast
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
¼ cup butter
1.5 cups apple cider or apple juice
For the Topping: 1 egg, 1 Tbsp water, 1 Tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
In a large bowl, mix 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. In a 2-quart sauce pan, heat pumpkin, butter, and cider over medium heat until the mixture reaches 120F to 130F.
Add the cider mixture to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer (such as a kitchenaid) on medium for about 3 minutes. If you do not have an electric mixer, feel free to mix by hand. Stopping the machine to scrape down the bowl occasionally.
With a spoon, stir in enough of the remaining 3¾ to 4½ cups flour to make a soft dough (I used just under 4 cups).
On a floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Grease a large bowl with butter or spray oil and place dough in the bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towl, and let rise in a warm spot for about an hour or until doubled in size.
Then, gently punch down dough to deflate. Divide dough in half and then into three equal sized pieces.
Grease 2 baking sheets. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into an 18 to 24 inch long rope. Place three ropes close together on the cookie sheet and braid them loosely, then shape into a ring on the baking sheet. Pinch ends together to seal. Repeat with the second three ropes.
Cover and let rise in a warm place again for 20 to 30 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.
Heat oven to 375F
Whisk together the egg and water and brush onto each braid (once done rising). Sprinkle with poppy seeds (if using).
Bake for 18 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Completely cool for 1 hour, then enjoy!