Mixed nuts, cinnamon and maple syrup crown

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Soft, fluffy dough with just enough flavoured ribbon running through it to make it wonderfully moreish. Toasted nuts are entwined with sweet maple syrup and warming cinnamon to create moist layers whilst the outside is covered in deliciously sticky glaze. This is a perfect picnic food as it keeps moist and soft for 3 days without loosing any of its just baked appeal. Ours didn’t make it beyond day three…

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We have been enjoying warm weather over the last couple of weeks and such weather requires an outing with a packed picnic of thick cut ham in soft rolls, fresh strawberries warmed by the sun and wedges of this crown to finish it off with. And after couple of hours of frolicking on the beach, with a view like this, your soul and body will thank you for a little lunch break. We went across the water to the Isle of Wight the other day and had a glorious day on an almost deserted beach with both children and dogs, returning home tired but utterly relaxed.

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This is an enriched dough which I am very fond of. The given quantities create a substantial crown – by that I mean a monster loaf big enough to cover a roasting tray that comes with the oven…So plenty to go around for bigger family gatherings. With its pretty layers and a knotted shape, it looks good enough to be a centrepiece on any picnic table or a blanket. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 750 grams of strong bread flour
  • 80 grams of vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 14 grams of fast acting yeast
  • 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 375 ml of warm milk
  • 120 grams of melted butter

For the filling

  • 125 ml of maple syrup
  • 75 grams of sugar
  • 25 grams of cinnamon
  • 100 grams of toasted almonds, chopped
  • 50 grams of toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 50 grams of toasted cashew nuts, chopped

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Place all dry ingredients into a bowl and give them a mix. Now add the milk, melted butter and the eggs and once combined, continue to knead it for 15 minutes until you achieve a soft and elastic dough. IMG_0687

Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave it aside until doubled in volume. It should be well risen and soft to touch.

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Once doubled in volume, remove the dough onto a floured board and roll it out into a rectangle the same size as the baking tray (the one that comes with the oven). Spread the maple syrup on the dough, sprinkle with the sugar, cinnamon and nuts.

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Roll the dough from its longer end to form a tight sausage shape. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll lengthwise starting couple of centimetres from the top and right through to the other end. IMG_0691

Plat it together by twisting both strands around each other and shape the dough into a knot by joining both ends together.

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Prepare the baking tray by lining it with a baking paper. Grease the paper with butter and sprinkle it with flour. Transfer the shaped knot onto the prepared tray and allow it to rise for 30 minutes under a clean tea towel.

In the meantime preheat the oven to 190°C. Once the crown is risen for the second time, place it in the oven for 35 minutes until golden brown. Remove it and leave it on the tray for 5 minutes or so before transferring onto a cooling rack.

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Whilst the crown is still warm, drizzle it liberally with icing made up of icing sugar mixed with hazelnut vodka, recipe for which can be found here.

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Allow it to cool down before cutting into wedges. It is as delicious on the day it is baked, all soft and still a little warm as it is on day three. However long it lasts in your house, enjoy it x

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