The sweet aroma of apples and spice filled my apartment as this lovely bread baked in the oven. The swirly appearance is created by rolling the dough up like a cinnamon roll, slicing it down the middle, and twisting the ends around one another (reminiscent of the basil bread I made a few weeks ago). It's as delicious as it is pretty!
General idea from here.
¾ cup milk, warmed to about 100 degrees F
3 tablespoons sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 to 3 cups bread flour
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch of allspice and cloves
¼ cup ground almonds, walnuts, pecans (optional)
1 large or 2 small apples, peeled and grated (use a cheese grater)
In a 2-cup measuring glass, combine the milk, sugar and yeast. Set aside for about 10 minutes to proof.
Combine the egg and butter in a small bowl.
In a large bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and salt. Pour the egg mixture and the yeast mixture over the dry ingredients. Stir with a spoon until forms a dough that is not sticky, adding more flour as needed.
Kneed the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes; a smooth dough will form. Place the dough ball into a lightly floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or two, or until it has doubled in size.
Punch the dough down. On a floured surface, roll the dough to about an 18 x 24 inches rectangle (doesn’t have to be perfect).
For the filling, mix together the sugar and spices.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Brush the dough rectangle with the melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon filling and the apple (and nuts if using).
Roll up the dough along the long edge. Use a sharp knife to cut the log in half length-wise, stopping short of the last half inch.
Twist the two pieces around each other, trying to keep the cut ends facing up (looks prettier that way). Bring the ends together to form a wreath and pinch to seal.
Transfer wreath to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise slightly for about 10 minutes.
Bake the wreath for 25-30 minutes.
Spreading the filling on the rolled out dough...
After rolling up, slicing the log of dough down the middle...
Twisting the two ends together...
Pinching the ends to form a wreath!
Fresh from the oven...look at the sugar sparkle!
Slice into the loaf and enjoy!