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Braided saffron bread, in a wreath shape.
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Saffron Wreath Bread

This is a spelt based, vegan version of a festive classic, the saffron wreath. Saffron adds a beautiful golden colour and rich flavour to this bread, which is filled with dark chocolate, dates, and coconut sugar. Just sweet enough for dessert, and perfect for the holidays. 
Course Desserts
Cuisine Scandinavian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 1 large wreath
Calories 449kcal

Ingredients

  • 250 ml nondairy milk*
  • 1 pinch saffron threads ~1/2 gram
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast or 1/2 cube fresh
  • 450 grams light spelt flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil softened
  • 50 grams coconut sugar
  • 50 grams dark chocolate chopped
  • 50 grams cup dates chopped

Instructions

  • Add the milk to a small saucepan with the saffron threads and heat over low-medium until just simmering. Whisk in the coconut oil and coconut sugar, then pour into a large heatproof bowl.
  • Let the milk mixture cool until just warm to the touch, then whisk in the yeast. Leave it for 15 minutes, or until foaming. Stir in 1 cup of flour along with the salt. Add the remaining flour in 1/2 cup increments, stirring between each addition, until it becomes too difficult to mix with a wooden spoon.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead, adding more flour as necessary, until a soft, smooth dough forms, around 8-10 minutes.
  • Oil a large bowl and place the dough into it, turning it a couple of times to coat it in a little oil. Place a large plate over the bowl and set it into a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a large rectangle, about 2cm thickness. Spread with the coconut oil, then top with the coconut sugar, chocolate, and dates in an even layer.
  • Roll the dough up lengthwise, the cut lengthwise down the centre into two long strips. Leave the top 5cm of dough uncut to create an anchor. With the cut side facing up, twist the two pieces around one another, lifting one and placing it over the other from top to bottom. Give yourself plenty of space for this.
  • Once your coil is finished, form the wreath. Bring the ends around to each other, then cut your anchor and wrap the two pieces around the other end of the coil and tuck underneath, pressing lightly to stick.
  • Gently lift your completed wreath onto the prepared baking sheet and cover with a clean tea towel. Adjust to make sure you have the desired shape (now, before it proofs a second time). Place in a warm spot to rise again for 30 minutes.
  • While the dough is proofing, preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Once it's finished rising, bake the wreath for about 30 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool on the baking sheet for another 20 minutes before cooling fully on a rack. Best eaten fresh, but leftovers will keep in a well sealed container on the counter for up to three days. 

Notes

• I highly recommend either buying fresh yeast for this recipe or testing your yeast beforehand! You don't want to waste that precious saffron on dead yeast.
• The dough will want to fall open a bit when you cut it, especially if your dates are cut a little big. Don't worry if some of the filling falls out, you can just add it back into the dough before it rises the second time.
* A lighter milk will result in a better texture, as opposed to full-fat coconut milk from a can, for example. My preference is always oat milk.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 109mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 18g