As soon as I saw the Swedish coffee bread on Elise’s Simply Recipes, I knew I’d make my own. The original plan was to bake it last Sunday because I thought that Sam would just love to drizzle the glaze over the newly baked bread but she went back to the condo early Sunday morning, I lost momentum and baked nothing on Sunday. Yesterday, I was by myself in the house and I decided to do some baking. I made one wreath of Swedish coffee bread and eight cheese and sausage rolls.
According to Sara, Elise’s reader who sent her the recipe, coffee bread is a traditional Christmas dish in Sweden. So, although most recipes yield a braided bread, Sara likes to form her coffee bread into a wreath which I found lovely. My Swedish coffee bread closely follows the recipe from Simply Recipes (Elise is one of the few food bloggers whose recipes I trust) although I did make a few tweaks here and there (I didn’t add any egg), and I used my own concoction for the filling.
- 1/2 c. of full cream milk
1/4 c. of water
1 tbsp. of instant dry yeast
1/8 c. of melted butter, cooled
6 tbsps. of sugar
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of ground cardamom
1 c. of all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
1/2 c. of bread flour
1 tsp. of vegetable oil
For the filling, mix together:
1/4 c. of butter, softened
1/4 c. of dark brown sugar
1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. of ground nutmeg
1/2 c. of chopped pecans
- Make the bread. Whisk together the flours, salt and ground cardamom.
Scald the milk. Pour into a mixing bowl. Stir in the water. Leave until lukewarm. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture. Leave for 10 minutes.
Add the sugar and melted butter to the yeast mixture. Stir. Add half of the flour mixture. Mix. The dough will be wet, sticky and lumpy. Add the rest of the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together.
Dump the dough into a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, dusting with flour sparingly, until no longer sticky. Form into a ball.
Brush the inside of a bowl with vegetable oil. Put the dough in the bowl, turning it around to coat the surface with oil. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rise for about two hours.
Punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Form into a log. With a rolling pin, flatten the log to make a long rectangle.
Spread the filling on the dough.
From one of the two long edges, roll the rough…
… keep rolling until you have a neat log.
Take the log and transfer to a lined baking dish (I used a pizza dish), forming the dough into a ring. Pinch the two edges together so that everything is neat.
Using kitchen shears, slice the dough diagonally at two-inch intervals without cutting all the way to the inside of the ring. Ideally, the slices should be an even number.
Take one slice of dough and pull it toward the inside of the ring. Do this alternately. And this is why the slices should, ideally, be an even number. But I’m bad in Math, I cut and cut without counting so I had an extra slice which, I hope, you won’t notice.
Leave the dough to rise for another 30 to 45 minutes.
Ten to 15 minutes before the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 325F.
Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes.
The bread should be nicely browned on top by the end of baking time.
Make the glaze. Place 1/2 c. of sifted powdered sugar in a bowl. Add a teaspoonful of water. Mix. If the mixture is pourable, drizzle over the bread. If the mixture is still too thick, add more water, a few drops at a time.
The Swedish coffee bread is so called because it is best served as an accompaniment to coffee. I had mine with iced coffee yesterday. When Speedy got home, he had his with hot coffee. And he loved, loved, loved the Swedish coffee bread. It just might become a tradition in our family, Christmas or not.
Cooking time (duration): about 4 hours
Number of servings (yield): 1 14-inch wreathwreath
Meal type: dessert