Christmas Bread Wreath.

I am going to bake this beauty on Christmas eve. It looks so festive and will be devoured on Boxing day. I am planning to place baked camembert in the middle, so we can dip this wonderful bread in molten, gooey cheese. It is so delicious and fluffy. Cant wait.

Have a lovely Christmas!

 

Christmas Bread Wreath.
  • 500g white bread flour
  • 10g fast action dried yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 50g olive oil
  • 20g coarse semolina (give s a nice crunchy texture, but if you don’t have it you can omit it)
  • 320g warm water
  • basil pesto (a few teaspoons) or alternatively chop some of your favourite herb with some olive oil, garlic and salt
  • fresh cherry tomatoes and herbs to garnish, rosemary looks very festive
  • about 2tbs grated parmesan

In a mixing bowl (I use my food processor with dough hook attachment but you can do it entirely by hand) place the flour, salt and dried yeast  add  the olive oil and start mixing.  Add warm water (luke warm) slowly and keep mixing until the dough starts to form, it will take about 3-4 mins. When using a food processor continue mixing it on a slow speed for a little bit longer. Lift the dough from the bowl onto your work surface and continue kneading it, don’t be tempted to put extra flour even if the dough is quite wet, just by working it, stretching and kneading it will come together. Keep on working it until it comes cleanly away from the work surface and begins to look silky, smooth and elastic. Flour the surface lightly and form the dough into a ball, place it back into the mixing bowl to rest. Cover with a tea towel and rest in a draught-free place for about 1hr until it doubles in size. After you have rested the dough, turn it out onto your work surface and punch down the dough by kneading it gently two or three times. Now the fun bit. On a baking stone or a baking tray covered with parchment paper, sprinkle half of the semolina.  Cut the dough into pieces to form dough balls. I made 13 large ones on the outside and 15 smaller ones inside. Place them in a shape of the wreath, making sure to leave about 1cm gap in between for them to rise. Spread a little bit of pesto in the gaps and sprinkle with the  grated parmesan and a dusting of semolina . Leave it loosely covered for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile pre heat an oven  to 180˚C.

Bake the wreath for 30/35 minutes until golden brown.

Garnish with the rosemary and tomatoes for that festive touch.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu is one of my favourite desserts. I must admit in our house I only serve the proper adult version, no whipped cream in sight. It is a perfect marriage of coffee, alcohol, dark chocolate and creamy mascarpone. Did I mention that it is easy, so easy, almost effortless. I like to make mine in individual glasses, it looks very pretty and also kind of forces you to be slightly restrained and not to scoff all of it in one go. I am definitely making Tiramisu again this Christmas!

Tiramisu

 

Tiramisu

 

Tiramisu.

(makes 6 individual ones)

250g tub of mascarpone cheese

2eggs

50g castor sugar

1tsp vanilla essence (optional)

300ml  strong coffee

rum ( Tia Maria works well), don’t be shy, 4/5 tbsp

dark chocolate, chopped

sponge biscuits, I have used trifle sponges, one for each of the glasses.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff and set it aside.

Place the egg yolks and sugar in a mixer with whisk attachment and whisk until pale and creamy consistency. Add the mascarpone cheese, a little at the time and keep mixing slowly until all incorporated. I also add a drop of vanilla essence or a vanilla pod but this is optional.

Fold in the egg whites, very gently, you should have a mix which is a mousse like consistency.

Make a strong coffee, espresso or very strong instant coffee. Mix with the alcohol. Cut the trifle sponge in a finger like shapes and dip the sponges until they absorb fluid all the way through. Lift and place at the bottom of a glass. Add chopped dark chocolate and a large spoonful of mascarpone. Repeat again as another layer with mascarpone on the top, chopped dark chocolate. To finish of, dust with cocoa powder. Cover with a cling film and place in a fridge. Keeps well for up to a week.

 

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