Susan Simpson, Harrington, Delaware
~~~~~~ 2021 National Festival of Breads Adult Division Finalist ~~~~~
“This is a fruit-filled variation of my German grandmother’s ‘Bavarian Twist.’ I have modified it numerous times over almost five decades.”
3 tablespoons KING ARTHUR® Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
½ cup whole milk, room temperature
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure orange extract
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
3 ½ - 3 ¾ cups KING ARTHUR® Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 (¼ ounce) package RED STAR® Quick-Rise Yeast
Apricot Filling and Raisin Filling
1 cup (6 ounces) finely chopped dried apricots
1 ¼ cups (6 ounces) dark raisins
2 cups water, divided
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
½ teaspoon pure orange extract
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon pure orange extract
1 - 1 ½ tablespoons whole milk
- For Tangzhong: In saucepan over medium heat, whisk together flour and milk until smooth and mixture thickens, 1 ½ - 3 minutes, whisking constantly.
- For dough: Transfer hot Tangzhong to bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Stir in butter, sugar, salt and orange extract. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in milk and egg.
- Whisk 3 ½ cups flour and yeast; slowly stir into dough, mixing on low speed. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that is soft and slightly sticky. Exchange paddle attachment for dough hook. Knead 5 - 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
- Transfer dough to greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover; let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- For fillings: In saucepan over medium heat, combine apricots, 1 cup water and ¼ cup sugar. Simmer, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed, 10 - 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and almond extract. In another saucepan, combine raisins, 1 cup water and ¼ cup sugar and cook until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and orange extract. Puree each filling with an immersion blender, food processor or blender; set fillings aside to cool.
- Generously coat a 9" tube pan with cooking spray. Deflate dough and divide in half; cover one half. On lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough into a 12" x 20" rectangle. Spread on apricot filling. Roll dough up tightly from the long side and pinch seam. Repeat with remaining dough using raisin filling.
- Place logs side-by-side, sealed edge down, about 2 inches apart. Using a pizza cutter or serrated bread knife, cut logs in half lengthwise. (Can chill logs a few minutes before cutting to make it easier.) Turn cut sides facing up to expose the fillings. Hold both apricot logs in one hand and both raisin logs in other hand. Fold logs over each other like a braid alternating back and forth. Form into a circle, connecting ends, and carefully transfer into pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 60 - 75 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake on middle rack 45 - 50 minutes, or until golden and internal temperature is about 200°F. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then loosen edges with a knife. Transfer to a rack and cool.
- For glaze: Whisk ingredients and drizzle glaze over ring.
Note from Susan: Dried figs, dates, golden raisins and dried cranberries all work well as fillings with the same method of cooking.
Yield: 1 ring, 16 servings
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING (1 SLICE, 134g): 310 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 30mg cholesterol, 130mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate, 2g dietary fiber, 24g sugars, 5g protein, 60mcg folate, 2mg vitamin C, 2mg iron.