No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Swedish tea ring

Made in by one of my students, Sarah
200g (or 1 mugs) strong white flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp each mixed spice
100g (or 1/2 mug) dried fruit (currants, sultanas or raisins plus mixed peel)
1 dessertspoon fresh yeast or 1 teaspoon dried yeast
250ml (or 2/3rds mug) lukewarm water
2 dessertspoons olive oil (optional)

Sprinkle with icing sugar

1. Measure the water and stir in the fresh yeast. Place the flour, sugar, spice and dried fruit into a mixing bowl, pour in the yeast liquid, then add the olive oil.

2. Have a little water to hand to add if necessary and begin to mix by stirring the ingredients together with the fingers of one hand. Squeeze the mixture together and keep turning it over and pressing it down to pick up the flour at the bottom of the bowl – but make sure it stays soft. Don’t be afraid to add more water to keep it soft! When all the flour has been mixed in, wipe the bowl around with the dough, turn it out onto the worktop and begin to knead.

3. Knead by flattening the dough out, folding it over and flattening it again. Knead until the dough becomes smooth – and then stop before you get fed up!

4. Leave to prove for about an hour on your worktop, covered with a dry tea towel. Or place in an oiled plastic bag until you are ready for step 5.

5. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, 30cm by 20cm. Brush with oil, sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon and scatter 25g flaked almonds over. Roll up the dough along the long side, as you would a Swiss roll, and bring it to rest on the seam. Place it on a greased baking sheet (or one lined with baking parchment), and form it into a circle. Tuck one end into the other and pinch the join together.

6. Leave to rise appreciably. With a sharp knife, or a pair of scissors, slash the ring halfway through at intervals of 4-5cm.

7. Bake for approximately 20 minutes at 220C, 425F or gas mark 7. To check if it is done, lift one side with a palette knife; if it all lifts together, and there is colour across the base, it is done.

8. Place on cooling tray and dust with icing sugar.

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