After trying the Pancetta,Tomato & Basil Pane Blanco, I was excited by the beautiful presentation of the split dough and wanted to try it again. That’s when I spotted a beautiful braided wreath on the Artisan Bread Bakers on Facebook group. They are such a friendly bunch of bakers and are a constant source of inspiration! The recipe I spotted included excellent photographs that showed the process so clearly, I knew I had to give it a try in my favorite 16″ camp Dutch oven. I decided to see if I could use the shaping technique with the Ultimate Cinnamon Bun recipe in the Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book (pages 70-72). Here’s my first attempt!
- 3/4 cup milk, heated to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
- 2 1/4 active dry yeast
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 41/4 to 4 1/2 all purpose flour (22 ounces)
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place a small Dutch oven over two hot charcoals. Add milk and heat to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Measure/weigh flour into a bowl. Add corn starch. Mix until combined.
- Pour warm milk in large mixing bowl. Add yeast and sugar. Stir. Add eggs. Stir until even yellow color develops. Add salt and butter. Gradually add flour and corn starch until a smooth ball forms. Knead for about 10 minutes.
- Place dough in a dough bucket and cover OR place in a clear bowl and cover tigthly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free place and let dough rise until doubled, about two hours.
- Gently turn dough out onto a large area and roll into a rectangle about 28 inches long, about 16 inches wide, and less than 1/2 of an inch thick.
- For the filling, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Spread softened butter evenly across the dough then sprinkle sugar across the top.
- Beginning on one of the long sides, roll the dough up into a long cylinder shaped log.
- With the seam side down, divide the dough in half lengthwise. (To make it easier to move the shaped bread, do this step on a lightweight and flexible cutting board. I thought of this after I had cut the dough and immediately regreted it!) To form the twist, try to keep the cut side of the dough up but don’t worry if it flops around. Carefully lift up one side over the other, lay it down, and then repeat. Here’s what mine looked like after struggling to get it together. It’s a messy process for sure!
I hope with more practice, the twist will come together with more symmetry, but I’m happy it stayed together at all!
Next, I worked both ends together to form a circle and then moved it into a prepared 16″ camp Dutch oven. Let it rise again for about an hour, then fire up a chimney full of charcoal in preparation for baking.Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit with 40 hot charcoals, 25 on top and 15 underneath, for 35 to 40 minutes. Rotate oven clockwise and top counter-clockwise every 10 to 15 minutes to avoid a hot spot.