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Almond Cranberry Wreath
This celebratory bread gets its tender, pillowy texture from Platinum Yeast, the go-to yeast for baking success every time.
Yield: 1 wreath
  • 4¼ to 4½ cups (531 to 563 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package (7 grams) Platinum Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (120 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water, divided
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), divided
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (3 grams) orange zest
  • 1 cup (120 grams) fresh or thawed frozen cranberries, halved (patted dry if frozen)
Almond Cream
  • Makes about 1¾ cups
  • 6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1⅓ cups (128 grams) natural almond meal
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) almond extract
  • ½ cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Orange Glaze
  • Makes about ½ cup
  • 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (1 gram) orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons (25 grams) fresh orange juice
  1. STEP 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 2 cups (250 grams) flour, sugar, Platinum Yeast, and salt.

  2. STEP 2. In a medium saucepan, heat ½ cup (120 grams) water, milk, butter, and vanilla over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture, and beat at medium speed until combined and cooled slightly, 2 minutes. Add 1 egg (50 grams), egg yolk, and orange zest, and beat at medium speed until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 2¼ cups (281 grams) flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl.

  3. STEP 3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft, somewhat sticky dough forms, about 12 minutes, stopping to scrape dough hook and sides of bowl. Add up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, 1 tablespoon (8 grams) at a time, if dough is too sticky.

  4. STEP 4. Lightly oil a large bowl. On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into a smooth round. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 40 minutes to 1 hour.

  5. STEP 5. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 egg (50 grams) and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water.

  6. STEP 6. Lightly punch down dough. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 24x12-inch rectangle. Using a small offset spatula, spread Almond Cream (recipe below) onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border on one long side. Sprinkle with cranberries. Brush border with egg wash. Starting with opposite long side, roll up dough, jelly roll style; pinch seam to seal. Gently shape log to even thickness, if necessary. Trim edges flat. Place log on a sheet of parchment paper. Form dough into a circle. Brush trimmed ends with egg wash, and press together, pinching dough to seal.

  7. STEP 7. Using a serrated knife or kitchen scissors, cut three-fourths of the way into dough, being careful not to cut all the way through dough. Make a second cut 1 inch from first cut. Repeat process around the circle until you reach first cut. Gently turn each slice onto its side, slightly overlapping with the previous piece. Slide parchment onto a baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, 20 to 30 minutes.

  8. STEP 8. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Brush egg wash onto dough.

  9. STEP 9. Bake until lightly golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 30 to 45 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and drizzle with Orange Glaze (recipe below). Serve warm or at room temperature.

  10. Make the ALMOND CREAM
  11. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in almond meal until combined. Add egg and almond extract, beating on low until combined. Beat in flour and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  12. Make the ORANGE GLAZE:
  13. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth.

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  1. Is almond flour the same as almond meal? I can’t find almond meal at the store.

    • Hi Penny,
      Almond flour has a finer texture, almond meal is more course. You can substitute in almond flour in this recipe, the filling will just have a different texture.
      Almond meal is typically in the baking aisle, sometimes in the gluten-free section.
      Happy baking!

  2. If our local store does not carry platinum yeast yet, can this recipe still be done with your regular yeast? And if so do any changes need to be made to recipe directions?

    • Hi Kirsten,
      You can use Red Star Quick Rise or Active Dry Yeast in this recipe. Use one packet of either yeast. Your dough may need additional rise time, so keep an eye on it. Otherwise, no other changes needed.
      Happy baking!

  3. Re almond cranberry wreath! It requires almond meal?? If one ground blond whole almonds would it work? Thank you, Frank

    • Hi Frank,
      It will most certainly work if you make your own almond meal/flour. You would need to do it in a food processor until finely ground. You can use whole or blanched almonds. You won’t want to turn on your food processor and walk away – if it goes too far you will get almond butter!
      Happy baking!

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