This traditional German yeast bake is one of your favorite treats for bunny season: an Easter Bread Wreath with Marzipan. It’s so good and delicious!
For the dough:
1 cup (250ml) milk, lukewarm
0.75 oz. (21g) fresh yeast
17.6 oz. (500g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 medium egg
2.5 oz. (70g) butter, at room temperature
For the filling:
7 oz. (200g) marzipan (for baking)
1/4 cup (60ml) milk
1 tbsp. vanilla liqueur or amaretto
0.7 oz. (20g) ground almonds
1 oz. (30g) almond brittle
1 medium egg
For the decoration:
1 medium egg yolk
1 tbsp. milk
1–2 tbsp. hail sugar
1–2 tbsp. almonds, sliced
1. Warm the milk (in the microwave or on the stove in a small pot) until lukewarm. Crumble the yeast and add together with a teaspoon of the sugar to the milk and mix until the yeast has dissolved completely. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
2. Mix the flour, the rest of the sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the yeast milk, the egg, and the soft butter. Let the machine knead for about 8 minutes until you get a nice and smooth dough. Shape into a ball and let rise, covered in the bowl in a warm place for about 1 hour – it should have doubled in size more or less.
3. While the dough is rising, you can prepare the filling. Grate the marzipan (see tip below) or cut it into small pieces. Add together with the milk to a microwave-safe bowl and warm up slowly in short intervals in the microwave (do not let the mixture get too hot). Stire to combine until you get a smooth paste. Add the alcohol, ground almonds, and almond brittle and mix in. Let cool down a bit, then stir in the egg. Cover and place in the fridge until needed.
4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle of about 20×12 inches (50x30cm). Cut in half lengthwise to create two long strips. Spread the filling on both strips along the edge of one of the longer sides – the filling should cover max half of each strip. Roll up along the long sides starting on the edge with the filling. Roll up tightly and “trap” the filling inside completely. You should get two 20 inches (50cm) long “sausages”. Press the edges together to avoid spillage of the filling.
5. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Place a greased metal ring* (aka. large cookie cutter) of about 3.5-4 inches (9-10cm) in diameter on top of the baking sheet. Twist the two dough “sausages” together as you would do with a rope or cord and place them around the ring on the baking sheet. At best, the metal ring will still have some space so the dough can rise undisturbed. Press the ends of the ring together or fold them underneath. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise once more for about 20 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Mix the egg yolk with the milk and brush the wreath with it carefully. If you like, you can lightly cut the wreath along the curves with a sharp knife – it is not absolutely necessary but can look nice. Sprinkle the wreath with hail sugar and sliced almonds and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 35 minutes. If the wreath gets too dark, simply cover with some aluminum foil or baking parchment and continue baking. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
To make the marzipan easier to grate, you can place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes beforehand – this will make it firmer and easier to work with.
Keywords: Easter, bread, yeast, marzipan, wreath