Monday, November 23, 2015

Swedish Tea Ring

Murder Most Howl comes out tomorrow! I can hardly believe that it's here. So today I'm sharing a recipe from the book. We loved this! It's a big holiday tradition in Sweden, but honestly, it's delicious anytime. This recipe is a variation on the traditional recipe. It's served at tea time at the Sugar Maple Inn when snow is falling outside.

Initially, it seems a little bit complicated, but once you've made it a time or two, you'll see that it's really not more difficult than making most yeast breads. Plus, there's a decent waiting time between each of the steps, so it's not like you're hanging around in the kitchen endlessly.

The toughest part is rolling it into a long roll that is equal in size throughout. You'll see in the photos that the ends of mine were tapered. You don't want that! Okay, so it was still really good, but ideally, you'll be forewarned and keep those ends as big as the middle.

Please note that you can use raisins instead of dried cherries in the filling. I used fresh cherries to decorate it because I happened to have them, but Maraschino cherries are traditional and prettier.

Swedish Tea Ring

½ cup milk
½ cup water
2 packages instant yeast
3½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon cardamom

¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup dried cherries

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
maraschino cherries

Warm the milk and water to 105ºF to 110ºF. Sprinkle the yeast on it and stir with a fork. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Pour into a mixing bowl and use the dough hook of your mixer. Add 3 cups flour, butter, salt, sugar, egg, and cardamom. Mix until a soft ball forms. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour about ½ cup at a time. Let the mixer knead the dough about five minutes. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a couple more times until smooth.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out to a 12-by-18-inch rectangle.

To make the filling, spread the softened butter on top of the rectangle. In another bowl, mix the cinnamon, sugar, walnuts, and dried cherries. Sprinkle across the dough. Roll the dough into a long, tight roll and press the seam closed. With the seam turned downward, seal the two ends together to make a ring.

Move the ring to the prepared parchment paper. With a sharp knife, slice the dough every inch or so, cutting only three-quarters of the way through. Cover the roll with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375ºF, and bake 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the ring from the oven and place on a rack to cool.

When cooled, stir together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, and drizzle the glaze all over the ring. Decorate with maraschino cherries if desired.

Use the dough hook on your mixer.

Grease and turn over before it rises.

Spread butter on the rolled out dough.

Sprinkle with cinnamon, nuts and dried cherries.

This is where you want your roll to be as thick on the ends as the middle.

You can see that it's not as big on the side where the ends meet. Don't do that! ; )

Slice, but not all the way through, and allow to rise.

Fresh from the oven!

Murder Most Howl will be here tomorrow! I have two copies to give away. Leave a comment with your email address so I can notify you if you win. I'll be choosing winners around 6PM eastern time today so I can get the books in the mail tomorrow. Good luck!