Cranberry and Orange Easter Tea RingServes:
A bit of a show-stopper my Easter Tea Ring is great for a gathering, work morning tea or family treat. The dough is spiced like a hot cross bun, the spiral filling is a simple spiced butter but the hint of orange, tart cranberries and the sweet glaze takes it to the next level. If you are a smaller household you could make into scrolls rather than a ring and freeze some. I like the ring at Easter though as in the Christian Tradition a circle symbolises the unending love of God - like the Christmas wreath.
- 3 ½ cups plain flour plus extra for sprinkling
- 75g brown sugar
- 4 tbsp butter or margarine
- 2/3 cup orange juice – approx 2 big oranges or use store bought real juice
- ½ cup dried cranberries/ Craisins
- ½ cup currants
- 1/3 cup warm milk approximately - use as much as is needed
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 sachet instant yeast
- 50 g butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¾ cup icing sugar
- a dash of milk
- orange zest to decorate - optional
Place the cranberries and currants in a small saucepan with the orange juice, bring to a simmer then remove from heat. When cool strain over a bowl to separate the orange juice and dried fruit which now will be plump and tender.
Place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips, or if you have a processor pulse together in the processor then turn into a large bowl.
Mix in the salt, spices, yeast and sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, cooled orange juice and enough of the milk to form a dough. Turn onto a well-floured board and knead for 3-5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and springy. Sprinkle with extra flour during kneading as required to prevent sticking.
Place dough into a clean greased bowl, cover with cling film and microwave on low power for 1 minute, rest the dough for 10 minutes then repeat. After the second rest the dough should have doubled in size. (Alternatively set aside in a warm place until doubled in size -45-50 minutes).
While the dough is rising prepare the filling and glaze.
For the filling mix together the butter and brown sugar in a small bowl to form a paste, then stir in the cinnamon.
For the glaze mix together the icing sugar and enough milk to form a spreadable icing. Cover with cling film and keep in the fridge until required.
When the dough has risen knead lightly and roll out to a rectangle roughly 42 cm long and 15 cm wide. Soften the spiced butter in the microwave and spread on the dough, scatter with dried fruit. Roll up from the long side into a log and join ends to a ring as best you can, shaping the ring to even out its thickness. Carefully transfer to a greased baking sheet. Making sure the join is underneath, with a pair of kitchen scissors make slanting cuts 2/3rds into the ring at roughly 3 cm intervals. Give each section a little twist to reveal the filling. Leave to rise until almost doubled in size.
Bake in a preheated oven at 190° C for 25 minutes. Cool. Stir glaze and spread or drizzle onto the ring. scattering with orange zest before the glaze hardens.
If using oranges rather than juice, finely zest one of them and add the zest to the flour mixture too, then use the remaining orange zest to decorate. If a ring is too big for you to get through, divide the log into 14 or so scrolls, bake, glaze and freeze half.