St Lucia Wreath


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Serves 24 | Prep Time | Cook Time

Why I Love This Recipe

The Scandinavian St Lucia (pronounced LOO-sha) is celebrated on her feast day: December 13th. To make this bread into a true St Lucia wreath, gather red ribbons and 7 or 9 white candles and mark the season of long nights with light.

This is a sweet bread, not a cake. I serve it before a meal but not as a dessert. The flavors are unique and may not be a good "with dinner" bread. I also like to make extra glaze in case the bread gets dry from sitting out.

It's a time consuming recipe but not a difficult one. I've been making these since I was about 20.


Ingredients You'll Need

For bread wreath:
6 1/2-7 c all purpose flour
1/2 c sugar
2 t salt
3/4 t cardamom
2 pkg active dry yeast
3/4 c milk
1/2 c water
1/2 c butter
3 eggs

For shine glaze (brushing over raw dough):
1 T milk
1 egg

For sugar glaze:
3/4 c powdered sugar
1/4 t vanilla
2 t milk (more or less depending on what consistency you want)


For shine glaze (brushing over raw dough):
1 T milk
1 egg

For sugar glaze:
3/4 c powdered sugar
1/4 t vanilla
2 t milk (more or less depending on what consistency you want)


Directions

The Scandinavian St Lucia (pronounced LOO-sha) is celebrated on her feast day: December 13th. To make this bread into a true St Lucia wreath, gather red ribbons and 7 or 9 white candles and mark the season of long nights with light.



This is a sweet bread, not a cake. I serve it before a meal but not as a dessert. The flavors are unique and may not be a good "with dinner" bread. I also like to make extra glaze in case the bread gets dry from sitting out.



It's a time consuming recipe but not a difficult one. I've been making these since I was about 20.



Grease a large (14") pizza pan. You can use a cookie sheet but your wreath will be oval, not circular.



1. Combine 2 c flour, sugar, salt, cardamom and yeast.


2. Blend well.


3. Meanwhile combine in small sauce pan milk, water and butter until steaming (about 120 degrees)


4. Remove from heat & add eggs. Whisk.


5. Add warm liquid mixture to flour mixture. Beat on low until moistened.


6. Stir in additional 4 ¼-4 ½ c flour until dough pulls away cleanly from sides of bowl.


7. On a large floured surface, knead ¼-1/2 c flour into dough until it’s smooth and elastic, about 5 min.


8. Please in greased bowl & cover loosely with plastic wrap AND a clean towel. Let rise in a warm place (80-85 degrees) until light & doubled in size (about 60-75 min)



9. Punch down dough several times (removing air bubbles).


10. Divide ball in half. Shape into balls. Roll each ball into a rope about 45” long. Twist ropes together. Place in ring shape, joining ends by pinching them together (otherwise ring will have a large bump where the pieces are joined).


11. Cover formed dough ring with towel and let rise in a warm place about 30-45 min.



12. Heat oven to 350. Brush “shine glaze” over raw dough. Bake for 15-20 min. Cover lightly with foil and bake an addition 10 minutes (avoids browning).


13. Remove from sheet and cool on wire racks (you’ll need at least two side-by side).


14. Prepare sugar glaze and drizzle over cooled bread.


15. To assemble optional wreath, adorn with ribbons and candles.



I recommend serving with milk or orange juice (symbolic of the sun).



Variation: I've also made this in a braid, which turned out very nice (and fits on a cookie sheet). Also you can halve this if you combine your eggs and then halve them or use an egg substitute.


Questions, Comments & Reviews



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