Madee McKee, Wamego, Kansas
~~~~~~ 2021 National Festival of Breads Youth Division Finalist ~~~~~
“My high school FACS Department created a coffee shop. This inspired me to modify a white bread recipe with the addition of dark espresso to give my recipe a twist to start my day.”
¼ cup warm water (110°F - 115°F)
1 (¼ ounce) package RED STAR® Platinum Superior Baking Yeast®
1 teaspoon honey
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups warm buttermilk (110°F - 115°F)
¼ cup warm dark espresso (110°F - 115°F)
7 ½ - 7 ¾ cups KING ARTHUR® Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
¾ - 1 cup blueberry jam, divided
1 large egg, plus 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)
- For dough: In measuring cup, combine warm water, yeast and honey; let proof 5 - 10 minutes.
- In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy. Mix in granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, salt and buttermilk. Stir in yeast mixture and espresso.
- Gradually mix in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Exchange paddle for dough hook. Knead 8 - 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place dough in greased bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and deflate. Divide dough in half to make two trees. Cover and set aside or refrigerate one-half of dough until time to shape second tree.
- For tree: Divide dough in half; set aside and cover one-half of dough for blossoms. Divide the other half into 3 equal parts and roll into 16" ropes. Braid the three ropes together starting from top. (Cross left strand over middle strand; cross right strand over middle strand.) Leave about one-fourth of the ropes unbraided for tree roots. For roots, split dough ropes and twist and turn to resemble roots. At the top of the tree trunk, pinch ends together and tuck under braid. Place on a 12" x 18" parchment-lined baking sheet; cover let rise until almost doubled, 20 - 25 minutes.
- For blossoms: Take remaining half of dough and divide into 18 equal pieces; form into uniform 10" ropes. Twist two ropes together. Form into coil; pinch ends together and tuck underneath roll. Repeat with remaining ropes making 9 blossoms. Place rolls about ¼" apart on parchment-lined baking sheet in a 4, 3, 2 pattern. Cover; let rise until almost doubled, 20 - 25 minutes.
- Near the end of the rise, preheat oven to 375°F. Make deep indentation in center of each blossom; fill indentations with 2 teaspoons blueberry jam. Whisk together egg and water; brush blossoms, tree trunk and roots with egg wash.
- Bake 20 - 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Tent roots and edges with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. Transfer to rack. To serve, on large tray assemble blossoms on top of tree trunk.
- Repeat steps to form second tree trunk and blossoms. Or, shape remaining dough into 18 additional rolls.
Test Kitchen Note: This would be a creative bread to serve at your next family reunion.
Yield: 2 trees, 18 servings each
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING (1 SLICE, 63g): 160 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 20mg cholesterol, 85mg sodium, 30g total carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 9g sugars, 4g protein, 52mcg folate, 1mg vitamin C, 2mg iron.