This is a lovely bread to make at Christmas, but really you don’t have to wait and you don’t need an excuse, just go ahead and make it to share with your family and friends. It really looks wonderful as the centrepiece of your table at any time of the year.
If you dislike mincemeat then you can change the filling. Cinnamon butter works well – mix together 125g of softened butter with 125g of soft brown sugar and two teaspoons of ground cinnamon and spread all over the rolled out dough. If you like you could add dried fruit over the cinnamon butter to make something akin to cinnamon scented Chelsea buns. You could also spread a generous layer of chocolate spread and sprinkle over your favourite nuts chopped finely for a wonderful Chocolate Nut Wreath.
If you want to learn how to make this Mincemeat Wreath and a variety of other wonderful breads ready for Christmas my online Christmas Breads course will show you how.
300g strong white flour
250g plain white flour
1 sachet of easy bake/instant yeast or 10-15g fresh yeast
10g fine sea salt
50g caster sugar
150ml whole milk
50g unsalted butter
For the filling:
5-6 tbsps (about half a large jar) of mincemeat
For the glaze:
50g caster sugar
For the icing:
50g icing sugar
Squeeze of orange juice, lemon juice or water
Heat the milk and butter in a small pan until the butter has melted, add in the tepid water and check with a clean finger that the liquid isn’t too hot. If it’s too hot it will kill the yeast, so leave it to cool for a while.
Measure the flours, salt, sugar and yeast (keeping the salt and yeast separate as the salt will kill the yeast) into a large bowl, pour in the liquids and add the egg.
Using a clawed hand mix the ingredients together until they come together in a shaggy mass. If the mixture has any dry bits of flour add a splash more water. You want it to feel on the sticky side rather than the dry side. Cover the bowl with clingfilm, a large plastic bag or a shower cap and leave to stand for ten minutes. Use the stretch and fold method to develop the dough. (You can of course knead the dough if you prefer or use a stand mixer). Cover and leave to rise until it has doubled in size (about an hour in a warm kitchen).
Lightly flour the work surface and tip the dough onto the flour. Roll into an oblong roughly 40cm x 30cm. Spread spoonfuls of the mincemeat evenly over the surface. Roll from the long edge like a Swiss roll. Make into a circle. Make cuts every 4cm two-thirds of the way through and turn them on a slight angle to show the filling. Cover with a cloth to rise. It should rise by about 50% and feel light and airy when gently prodded
Preheat your oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Place a solid shelf or tray in the centre of the oven so that you can bake the wreath on a hot surface.
Once the wreath is ready for the oven bake for 20-25 minutes until brown.
Whilst the wreath is baking place the caster sugar and water for the glaze in a small pan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and simmer for a minute or two. Brush the bread with the glaze as soon as it comes out of the oven. Place on a wire rack until cool.
Mix the icing sugar with the orange juice or water (a teaspoon at a time until it drops slowly off the spoon). Spoon the icing over the wreath and sprinkle with decorations of your choice. Flaked almonds, cherries or pecans all look wonderful.
Learn how to make this Christmas bread and others
My online Christmas Breads course can be taken at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home. I show you how to make this Mincemeat Wreath, a Pear and Blue Cheese Focaccia, Stollen, Harissa and Pesto Christmas Tree and a Cinnamon Star.