Guys, I think I’ve outdone myself with this one. This buttery, chocolatey baked joy, warm straight from the oven, is an absolute dream.
I made myself a mini tester splodge of dough alongside the wreath so that I could taste-test the minute it was baked and it was insanely good. Too good, really, because then it took all my willpower to leave the wreath alone long enough to photograph it.
Uhh, I’m getting cravings just thinking about it. Fresh, buttery brioche swirled with more butter (of course!), dark chocolate, a sprinkling of sugar and some grated orange zest. Guys, I just can’t.
Unless you have a much more delicate touch than me, just don’t even try it. It looked like one of those ugly pinterest fails.
If you caught my instagram story that day, YOU KNOW.
On that note, what do we think of instagram stories? Love it? Hate it? Think it’s a poor man’s snapchat?
I haven’t used it much but I did quite like being able to share the process of baking without worrying about how instagrammable my photos were (spoiler alert – my kitchen is never instagrammable.)
Ok, enough instagram – back to the important stuff!
This wreath is way easier to shape than the monster I initially created. You start with a big long cinnamon roll style log. Slice it right down the middle, lengthways, to give two strands. Twist them together then shuffle into a ring and voila! Chocolate orange bread wreath!
Plus, if you make a mess of twisting the two strands together, it actually still looks kinda OK. The half of the wreath you see in most of these photos was the good half.
The other side was a bit messier, but it still looked super inviting. Check the photo above for how it looked straight out the oven. It’s not the prettiest, but you certainly wouldn’t say no!
I tried really hard to get a photo of icing sugar drifting delicately down onto the wreath. Because wouldn’t that just be the most festive thing ever??
The photo below is the best I got and is more akin to a truck dumping a heap of snow onto my wreath, but hey ho. Gotta work with what ya got!
The best thing about this recipe? (I mean aside from all the chocolate & butter, obviously…) You can prepare right up to the baking stage the night before.
Pop it in the fridge overnight, let it come back to room temperature in the morning, then bake! There is nothing quite like this freshly baked chocolate orange bread wreath for breakfast!
- 60ml water
- 115ml milk
- 7g dried yeast (1 sachet)
- 100g caster sugar
- 400g bread flour, sifted
- 1 tsp salt
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 medium eggs
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 150g dark chocolate, chopped
- 25g caster sugar
- zest of 1 large orange
- 2 tbsp runny honey
- 1 tsp hot water
- icing sugar
- Add the water and milk to a bowl and gently warm in the microwave until lukewarm. Add the sugar and yeast, and stir. Leave to sit for about 5 minutes until frothy.
- In a mixer, mix the flour, salt and butter until the butter has reduced to crumb size pieces. If you find it easier, rub the butter into the flour by hand.
- Beat the eggs and add, along with the yeast mixture, to the flour. Using a dough hook, mix on a low-medium speed for about 10 minutes until a smooth dough is formed.
- Remove the dough to a large oiled bowl and cover loosely with oiled clingfilm. Leave to rise for about 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
- Once risen, remove to a floured surface and punch down the dough. If you find the dough is too sticky, add a little flour but try to use as little as possible to avoid a dense bread.
- Roll into a rectangle roughly 50cm x 25cm. I find it makes the rolling process easier if I do this on a large piece of parchment.
- Spread the softened butter over the dough. Don't worry if it's not completely evenly spread. Sprinkle the sugar across the dough.
- Spread the chopped chocolate on top of the dough and sprinkle over the orange zest.
- Roll tightly until you have one long roll. I find the easiest way to do this is to fold over the long edge, then gently lift the parchment underneath to help roll it up.
- Once you have a long roll, slice it in half lengthways. Then, twist the two long strands together and shape into a wreath, pressing the ends together.
- Transfer to a large baking tray (I used a pizza tray), cover with oiled clingfilm and refrigerate overnight. (If you want to bake straight away, skip straight to the proving step below.) Remove from the fridge 1-2 hours before you're ready to bake the next morning.
- Allow to prove at room temperature for 1-2 hours. If you're kitchen is cold, you'll need a longer prove.
- Pre-heat oven to 180°c. Mix the honey and hot water together then brush over the bread to glaze Bake the bread for 20-25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool slightly.
- Once ready to serve, sprinkle with icing sugar.