There’s only a week until Christmas, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m back home with my family, which gives me the chance to relax, recuperate after a crazy term and, of course, bake! I can’t resist my mum’s huge oven and sprawling kitchen, after living in my tiny flat in London.
And of course, Christmas is basically the perfect opportunity to eat far too many baked goods without having to feel at all guilty. As you can tell, I’m not holding back at all on the Christmas baking- it was Christmas cookies last week, and countless batches of mince pies in between! But hey, if you can’t indulge at Christmas, then what is the point?
We are all feeling very festive- the tree is up, the house is decorated, mince pies are in the oven, Christmas songs are blaring.
This couronne is the perfect teatime treat for days before Christmas. Bursting with cinnamon, ginger and cranberries, it is basically Christmas in bread form. And it’s Christmas colours too! Serve warm, lathered with butter, and a big cup of tea.
For the dough:
250g plain flour
50g brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
50g butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
Put the flour into large bowl, then add the salt on one side and the yeast on the other. Tip in the sugar and cinnamon, then add the butter, milk and egg and mix to combine. Keep mixing until all the flour around the side has been incorporated and forms a ball.
Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the dough feels silky and smooth.
Put back into the bowl, cover and leave to rise for an hour to an hour and a half. The dough should be doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, make your filling.
For the filling:
90g butter, softened
70g brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons cranberry sauce
Beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Then add the flour and spices, and mix to form a paste.
Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out to a rectangle.
Spread the butter and sugar mixture over the rolled out dough, then add dollops of cranberry sauce. Then, roll the dough tightly along a long edge, so you have a long sausage of dough. Cut the sausage in half lengthways to reveal the filling, but leave the ends attached to help you form the shape.
Twist the two lengths together, then form into a circular crown shape. (This is a little confusing, I know! I’ve baked another couronne before, so see this post for illustrated instructions!) Place on the baking tray and leave to rise for about 30 minutes.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, then decorate with water icing and a few dried cranberries on top.