Shaped like a wreath, this loaf, made with both yeast bread and cut-in methods, makes a stunning holiday presentation.
Serves: 10Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 10 hours 5 minutesDifficulty: Medium
- 3⁄4 cup whole milk
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 3⁄4 tsp. active dry yeast (1 package)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 tsp. plus 1⁄8 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 1⁄2 cup cold unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1⁄2 cups chopped pecans
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 Tbsp. water
- Combine milk, sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl sift together all-purpose flour and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Cut in cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make a well in the center, add 1 egg and yeast mixture, and stir until the dough just comes together. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator to rise overnight.
- Beat pecans, brown sugar, and softened butter into a paste-like filling. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Remove the risen dough from the refrigerator. Working on a floured surface, roll dough into a 9-by-13-inch rectangle, about 1⁄2 inch thick. Spread pecan mixture down the center, then fold over the side edges to conceal the filling, overlapping the edges a bit and pinching to seal. Transfer to prepared pan, seam-side down, and form into a circle, connecting the two open ends. Cover loosely with plastic and rise 30 minutes.
- Whisk together 1 egg, remaining salt, and 1 tablespoon water. Brush gently onto the top of risen loaf. Bake until golden brown and hollow sounding, about 45 to 60 minutes. Cool completely on a rack before serving.