St Lucia Wreath
INGREDIENTS
  • Servings: 24
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. It's a time consuming recipe but not a difficult one. I've been making these since I was about 20.
  4. Grease a large (14") pizza pan. You can use a cookie sheet but your wreath will be oval, not circular.
  5. 1. Combine 2 c flour, sugar, salt, cardamom and yeast.
  6. 2. Blend well.
  7. 3. Meanwhile combine in small sauce pan milk, water and butter until steaming (about 120 degrees)
  8. 4. Remove from heat & add eggs. Whisk.
  9. 5. Add warm liquid mixture to flour mixture. Beat on low until moistened.
  10. 6. Stir in additional 4 ¼-4 ½ c flour until dough pulls away cleanly from sides of bowl.
  11. 7. On a large floured surface, knead ¼-1/2 c flour into dough until it’s smooth and elastic, about 5 min.
  12. 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)
  13. 9. Punch down dough several times (removing air bubbles).
  14. 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).
  15. 11. Cover formed dough ring with towel and let rise in a warm place about 30-45 min.
  16. 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).
  17. 13. Remove from sheet and cool on wire racks (you’ll need at least two side-by side).
  18. 14. Prepare sugar glaze and drizzle over cooled bread.
  19. 15. To assemble optional wreath, adorn with ribbons and candles.
  20. I recommend serving with milk or orange juice (symbolic of the sun).
  21. 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.
RECIPE BACKSTORY
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.