Maple & Pumpkin Soft Pretzel Wreath

Soft pretzels, fall edition. These bread wreaths are flavored with pumpkin puree, maple syrup and spices. All with the soft pretzel crust. They are best when they are hot, right out of the oven. You can make them any shape you wish, I just went with wreaths this time. It’s easier if you make them small, since the dough is quite soft. If you make them too big, you risk the dough falling apart while transferring it to and from the water bath. So keep that in mind. This is not a very sweet pretzel, but you can always brush it with a bit of melted butter after it is baked and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon sugar on top.

This recipe makes 3 medium wreaths.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

1 cup of warm water

1 package of dry yeast (7gr)

2 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

¾ cup of pumpkin puree

1 ½ tablespoons of maple syrup

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

½ teaspoon of nutmeg

For the water bath:

10 cups of boiling water

2/3 cup of baking soda

For the maple egg wash:

1 egg

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Extras:

Vegetable oil

 

 

To make the pumpkin puree, just chop a small pumpkin into chunks (skin and all). Place it in a microwave-safe plate. Cover it with plastic film and microwave it for 10 minutes until the pumpkin is soft. Then remove the seeds and scoop out the pumpkin flesh. Place the pumpkin flesh in a bowl and mash it. Allow it to cool down.

Place the warm water and the yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients for the dough. Knead the dough with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Do it on low speed for about 5 minutes, until it stops sticking to the edges and it forms a ball. You can also knead it by hand.

Remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with some vegetable oil. Place the dough back in the greased bowl and cover with plastic film. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 230C/450F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment with vegetable oil.

Start making the water bath. Mix the boiling water with the baking soda in a large pot.  Make sure it is not completely filled to the top because the baking soda bubbles a bit. Leave the heat on medium, while you work on the dough.

Place the dough in your working area sprinkled with a bit of flour. Divide the dough into 3 pieces.

Grab one piece and roll it into a rope of about 40 cm, then slice it into 2 lengthwise. Twist together the 2 halves and then pinch the ends together to seal them. Finally form a circle with it, tuck the ends underneath and give it a pinch to seal them. Repeat for the other 2 pieces of dough. It’s better not to make them too big. The circumference of each wreath shouldn’t be that much bigger than the circumference of your slotted spoon, otherwise it’s going to be hard to place it and remove it from the water bath. The dough is quite soft and you don’t want it to fall apart.

Place one wreath in the water bath for 30 seconds. Then carefully remove it from the water using a large slotted spoon an place it on the prepared baking tray (once you place it in the parchment paper, you can’t move the wreath anymore until it is baked, so keep that in mind). Repeat for the other wreaths.

Once they are all done, brush them with the maple egg wash.

Bake them for about 10 minutes until golden. Serve warm.

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Vanilla Bean & Cinnamon Wreaths

vanilla cinnamon wreaths

I have been craving cinnamon rolls for a long while now.  Like my pretzel cravings, it had been on and off (for my super easy pretzel recipe click here). I was so excited when I learned that Cinnabon was coming to the Netherlands a while back.  But that excitement quickly dissipated when they only opened in Rotterdam.  Taking the train for a cinnamon roll just didn’t seem worth it.

My mother in law is always sweet enough to bring us back some vanilla beans from her trips to Indonesia.  Those beans are my little pantry’s treasure.  So I decided to incorporate them into these cinnamon wreaths.  She brings so many because she gets them very cheap over there. Of course that is not the case in most parts of the world. So you can also substitute it for vanilla extract to make the dough and for the filling use vanilla flavored sugar to mix with the cinnamon powder.

I made individual wreaths because I thought they would look darn cute. This recipe makes 8 wreaths.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

3 ½ cups of All-purpose flour

7gr dry yeast

½ cup of warm water

½ cup of milk

1 vanilla bean, or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

1/3 cup of sugar

1 egg

For the filling:

¾ cup of sugar

2 vanilla beans (you could also skip it and use vanilla flavored sugar instead)

1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder

3 tablespoons of melted butter

For the egg wash:

1 egg

1 tablespoon of water

 

Place the yeast and the warm water in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

Cut open the vanilla bean and remove the seeds. Place the vanilla bean, seeds and milk in a small pot and bring to a simmer.  Once it is simmering, turn off the heat and allow it to cool down (this is important so it doesn’t kill the yeast later). Once it has cooled down, remove the vanilla bean. You can dry it and  then stored it with your sugar.

Place the flour, salt, egg, cooled melted butter, sugar and the vanilla milk into the bowl with the yeast.

Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment.  You can also knead it by hand.

Then remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with a bit of vegetable oil.  Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the greased bowl. Cover with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

Once the hour has passed, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

To make the filling, cut open the vanilla beans and remove the seeds. Mix the seeds with the sugar and cinnamon powder.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and lightly flour your working area.

Roll out one piece of dough into a rectangle of about 30×20 centimeters.

Then brush the top of the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle some of the vanilla-cinnamon sugar on top.  Then grab one end of the dough and roll it like a tight crepe.

Cut the crepe in half trying to make a clean cut, except on one end. Then start twisting the 2 pieces, make sure the opened sugary side is facing up.  Pinch the ends to seal them.

Then form a circle with it, tuck the ends underneath and give it a pinch to seal them.  Brush the top with a bit of the egg wash and sprinkle a bit more of the vanilla-cinnamon sugar on top of the wreath.

collage

Repeat for the remaining dough.  Then bake for 15 minutes.

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