Happy Easter everyone! I hope you are all having a lovely Easter weekend with family and friends with some great food, sweet treats and maybe a little Easter egg hunt. 😊 When I was a kid, I used to love the Easter egg hunts at my Grandparents, because they had a really big garden with lots of good hiding spots for Easter eggs and bunnies. So we always had lots of fun looking in every bush and behind every stone to make sure we’d found everything. How did you do Easter egg hunts when you were small? I’d love to hear your stories!
Around this time of the year spring is also poking its head around the corner – this year it’s taking a little longer here in the North East of England, but I think we’re slowly getting there 😃 So the first flowers are finally coming up in the garden: purple and white crocuses, bright yellow daffodils and blue grape hyacinths are currently adding some colour to our garden. After the long grey winter they’re always a very welcome sight and I can’t wait for the rest of the garden to wake up and get all colourful and bright!
But back to Easter and to this yummy wreath! I wanted to give you all one last Easter recipe this year, even if it is a rather last minute one 😉 But if you have people coming over tomorrow on Easter Monday, then this would be a nice thing to whip up for that. This is a yeast dough wreath made from really nice, soft dough and filled with a hazelnut filling with a little cocoa powder and cinnamon. It’s brilliant with a cup of tea or coffee or even for breakfast, so you can make it for an afternoon tea and then finish the rest the next morning for breakfast – perfect!
A traditional German Easter wreath is most often not filled with a filling like this, but instead is just a yeasted wreath with some sultanas and some almonds added in for flavour. But I prefer this version of it, because the filling gives it so much more flavour and interest! To give the filling even more flavour you could roast the hazelnuts before adding them to the mix. Either roast whole hazelnuts and then grind them yourself, or you can roast the ready ground ones too. To roast, spread the hazelnuts onto a baking tray and put in a medium hot oven and roast until lightly browned and they smell really good. You can even substitute the hazelnuts for other nuts, if you’re not a fan of hazelnuts.
You will need
For the dough
500g strong white flour
75g caster sugar
7g fast action yeast
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, plus 1 for the egg wash
For the filling
300g ground hazelnuts
4 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
- To make the dough, heat the milk gently on the hobs or in 30 second bursts in the microwave until steaming. Add the butter in cubed and stir to melt. Leave to cool until just warm, then mix in the eggs.
- Mix the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a big mixing bowl and stir in the liquid mixture. Knead either in a stand mixer for about 7-10 minutes, or by hand for about 15 minutes, until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Shape into a ball, put back into the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix all the ingredients together, apart from the milk. Then add enough milk to make a smooth, spreadable paste.
- Put the risen dough onto a floured work surface and roll out to about a 40x60cm rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, then cut into three even pieces lengthways. Roll each piece up from one of the long sides, so you get three long snakes of dough with filling inside. Lie them next to each other and lightly press together the ends on one side. Start plaiting them together by lifting the outside strand into the middle, alternating the sides. Once you have plaited all the way down, shape into a ring and press the ends together as best you can. Lift onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover with a clean tea towel again and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Beat the egg for the egg wash until well mixed and brush all over the wreath. Bake for about 30 minutes, until browned all over and cooked on the bottom. Cover loosely with some foil if it’s browning too quickly on the top but not cooked on the bottom yet. Leave to cool on the tray for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Will keep in an airtight container for about 3 days.