3/4 cup warm milk
1 packet of active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups - 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup mix of dried cranberries, apricots, currants, or your favorite dried fruit mix
1 tbsp orange zest
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg beaten
pinch of sugar
1 tsp milk
1/4 cup whole milk
1 ½ - 2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook add your yeast and a couple teaspoons of sugar. Pour the warmed milk over the yeast and sugar and lightly whisk to combine. Allow your yeast to sit in the warm milk like this for 5-10 minutes to proof. When you come back to your yeast after 5-10 minutes it should be frothy – this indicates that your yeast is active and good to continue with the recipe. If you come back and your yeast hasn’t gotten frothy or foamed up, discard the contents in your bowl and start over with new fresh packages of yeast and proof again using the same technique.
Once you have proofed your yeast, add the remaining sugar to the mixture as well as the softened butter and turn your mixer on to low to begin combining the ingredients. Mix for a minute or so until the softened butter is broken up into chunks. Add your beaten eggs, and vanilla; allow to mix until combined.
Whisk together flour, cinnamon and salt. Slowly begin to add your flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time allow the flour to incorporate slightly before each addition.
Once you have added all of your flour, turn your mixer on to medium speed and allow it to mix the dough until a large smooth mass forms (about 5 minutes). The dough should be soft and a bit sticky, but not so wet that it is sticking to the sides of the bowl. If you find that your dough is sticking to the sides of your bowl, add a bit more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Remove dough from bowl – it should be smooth and elastic. Knead with your hands for an additional 2 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Next, place your dough into a large greased bowl, lightly grease the top of your dough and cover with a dry tea towel. Set your dough aside to rise in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
While your dough rises, prepare your filling.
In a bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, orange zest and almond extract. Beat until creamy. Set aside.
Once your dough has risen, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough out with a rolling pin to a 1/4 inch thick rectangle.
Spread the filling out over the dough, sprinkle evenly with dried. Roll dough up jelly roll style, and pinch the seam together at the end.
Use a sharp knife to slice the rolled dough down the middle, leaving about ½ inch at the top for the two slices to connect. Face the cut sides up and twist the two slices together, pinching the bottom ends together.
To keep the bread round, grease the outside of a small bowl and put it in the center of a parchment lined baking sheet. Wrap the twisted dough around the greased bowl and tuck one end under the other.
Cover the dough and baking sheet with plastic wrap and allow to rise again for another 45 minutes.
Once the dough has risen for a second time, pre-heat your oven to 350F degrees and gently brush with top with egg wash. Place in the center rack of your oven and bake for 30 -35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before glazing.
Once your cake has cooled slightly, drizzle it with the milk glaze.
Whisk together milk, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over bread.