Making homemade Danishes is a labour of love and a real time commitment. I love the smell of yeast dough and raspberries as this recipe bakes, and it seems a shame to deprive my guests of this aroma. I make and assemble the wreath the day before and chill it, loosely covered, overnight. In the morning I put it right from the fridge into a cold oven, and turn on the oven to 350°F . By the time the oven reaches full temperature, the dough has risen to its full size and I then set the oven timer for 40 minutes – the wreath is fresh from the oven when my brunch guests arrive.
Related: Filled Danish Braid
While this recipe does take a little time (any yeast dough does), the lovely wreath has all the buttery softness of a traditional Danish with just a fraction of the effort required to make and assemble it. You can also use this recipe to make jam-filled sticky buns. Once you’ve rolled up the dough, cut it into 12 portions, arrange them in a 9″ × 13″ baking pan and then proof and bake as for the wreath.
Related: Spiral Raisin Danishes
You can prepare the wreath up to step 8 the day before baking and then chill in its pan until ready to bake (see note below). Alternatively, freeze in its pan for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the fridge before letting it rise on the counter for about 2 hours before baking. Store the baked wreath, well wrapped, for 2 to 3 days at room temperature. Do not refrigerate. You can also freeze the baked wreath, but once thawed it will likely be a little softer than when it was freshly baked.
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Filling and Assembly
Rising time 90 minutes plus an additional 45 minutes.
For the dough, stir the flour, sugar, yeast and salt together in a mixing bowl, if mixing by hand, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat to melt and pour the milk over it, letting it warm up to around 115°F, just above body temperature.
Pour the liquid over the flour mixture, add the egg and mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Increase the speed by 1 level and knead until the dough springs back when touched, about 4 minutes. (If mixing by hand, stir the dough with a wooden spoon until it becomes too difficult and then turn it out onto the counter to knead by hand for 6 minutes or until elastic, adding as little extra flour as possible as you go.)
Place the dough in an ungreased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise on the counter until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
For the filling, beat the butter by hand to soften it and then beat in the raspberry jam, vanilla and cinnamon.
Generously grease a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, or a 10-inch or 12-inch round baking pan. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a rectangle about 20″ × 10″.
Spread the raspberry filling evenly over the dough and sprinkle the frozen raspberries on top. Starting at a long side, roll up the dough.
Cut the roll in half widthwise, and then cut each piece in half lengthwise so you have 4 pieces, with the jam now exposed.
Hold the first piece by the 2 short ends and twist them in opposite directions. Lay the twisted dough in the pan, with 1 end in the centre. Wrap the dough around the centre end in a spiral, working your way from the centre out toward the sides of the pan. Repeat with the 3 remaining pieces of dough, gradually enlarging the spiral so that it fills the pan – any spaces will fill in as the dough rises. Cover the pan with a tea towel and let the dough rise again at room temperature until almost doubled, 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Uncover the pan and bake until the wreath is an even golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before glazing.
Whisk the icing sugar and milk together and drizzle over the wreath. Let the glaze set for about 1 hour before serving. Serve the wreath either directly from the pan or transfer it to a cutting board and slice it into wedges to serve.
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