For the dough: Combine flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the water, eggs, vanilla, and oil until thoroughly combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with the dough hook on low to medium speed until a dough starts to form. Continue to knead on medium speed for 10 to 12 minutes, scraping the sides as necessary, until the dough is smooth, soft, slightly sticky, and elastic. (Alternatively, you can combine everything in a large mixing bowl and then knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes or until the dough is smooth and soft. Add flour if it gets too sticky but not too much).
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic or a clean towel, and place in a warm place until doubled in size (depending on the temperature in the room it takes around 1 to 1.5 hours).
For the filling: Combine granulated sugar, flour, espresso powder, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
To form the wreath: hen dough has doubled, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 24-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Drizzle over the butter and use a pastry brush to evenly spread over the surface of the dough, leaving a clean ½-inch border on the top and bottom. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough in an even layer, again leaving a clean ½-inch border on the top and bottom.
Using a pizza cutter or knife, divide the dough in half the long way. Starting from the inside to the outer edge, roll each side up into a tight roll and pinch to seal. Arrange the rolls so they’re seam-side down. Braid the two strands together and place on the prepared baking sheet. Connect the ends to form a wreath. Cover with plastic or a clean towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
Place an oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat the egg with a splash of cold water and brush the top of the wreath. Sprinkle with pearl sugar or turbinado sugar. Bake until the wreath is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Begin checking at 30 minutes.
Allow to cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if using. Tear apart and eat. This is best on its first day but would make really good French toast on day 2 or 3. Store at room temperature in an airtight plastic bag or container.
Tools You May Need
Tools You May Need
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