In our home, a braided almond wreath is a seasonal tradition. The original was a 2 day, fussy and very buttery pastry with melt in your mouth results. This adaption allows for a more healthful, quicker pastry that still produces stunning results that anyone can do. Your friends and family will love it.
This Instructable is mostly by earthelements
(listed as a collaborator).
Step 1: Ingredients
French bread dough ingredients (use your favorite recipe)
Decorative toppings - sliced almonds, craisins or marichino cherries, bow.
Step 2: Make Dough
We use the recipe and settings for french bread dough in our bread machine.
Step 3: Roll Out
Retrieve the dough and roll out on a floured surface or pastry cloth with a rolling pin. Optimal size is 9" wide by 30" long rectangle. You may have to let the dough rest during the process for a few minutes to aid in stretching it to this size.
Step 4: Cut into Strips
Cut the dough into 3rds the long way. These are your braiding strips.
Step 5: Spread Almond Filling
Spread a line of almond filling into the center and down the length of each strip.
Step 6: Pinch Closed
Pinch the dough edges together to seal in the almond filling.
Step 7: Braid
Stretch each strip length wise and pinch the three strips together at the top. Leaving the seam side up, braid the three strips, keeping a bit of stretch on them. Pinch the ends together as you did for the top.
Step 8: Shape
Now you can pick up your braided strands like a rope and move to a baking sheet. Stretch and curve into a circle, keeping the seam sides up. Pinch the bottom to the top edge to form the completed wreath.
Step 9: Rise
Let the dough wreath rise for an hour in a warm spot, 70 degrees or so. I warm my oven for 2 minutes, then turn it off and put the dough in to rise out of the draft.