Breads & Savouries

CRANBERRY AND ORANGE TWISTED LOAF BY DEAN BRETTSCHNEIDER

Cranberry and orange combined with vanilla white icing – you won’t be able to stop at one piece! The secret ingredient in the scone dough is the vanilla extract.

Ingredients

200g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
juice of 3 oranges (150ml) (or good-quality store bought orange juice) – zest 2 oranges first and reserve zest for dough
1 1/2 tsp cornflour, mixed to a slurry with 1 tbsp water
400g plain flour
20g caster sugar
good pinch of salt
25g baking powder
zest of 2 oranges
70g butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
200ml milk
1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp water, for egg wash additional flour for dusting
Vanilla White Icing
25g butter
45g cream
1 tsp vanilla extract with seeds
150g icing sugar

Method

Prepare filling a day in advance. Place cranberries and juice in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, add the cornflour slurry and cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick. The cranberries should soften and swell during cooking. Allow mixture to cool. Tip mixture out onto a chopping board and chop with a large chef’s knife to give a thick, spreadable paste. Set aside. The next day, sift flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir in orange zest. Add softened butter and rub in using your fingertips and thumbs until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Whisk egg, vanilla and milk together in a bowl and pour into dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, mix together to form a soft dough.

Tip dough onto a floured work surface and knead for 10–20 seconds. Take care not to over-knead or the dough will become too elastic. Cut dough into two equal pieces and shape into squares. Using a rolling pin on a floured work surface, roll out each dough piece to a 25cm square. Divide filling in half. Using a palette knife, spread filling evenly on each dough sheet, leaving about 1cm free along one edge. Brush egg wash along that edge. Working towards the edge painted with egg wash, firmly and tightly roll up each dough sheet to achieve a Swiss roll or log shape. Using a large chef’s knife or dough scraper, make a single cut lengthwise right through the middle of each log. For each log, take one strand in each hand, with the cut side of each strand facing upwards. Beginning at one end, twist strands around each other down the length of the strands. Press the ends firmly together so they do not unwind during baking. Place twists on a baking tray lined with baking paper, keeping them well apart so they don’t join together during baking. Brush with egg wash and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Bake twists in a preheated 210oC oven for 25–30 minutes. Turn tray halfway through baking time to ensure an even colour. While loaves are baking, make icing. Cover and set aside. Remove twists from oven and leave to cool slightly. While they are still warm, gently heat icing in a microwave and use a pastry brush to brush it over the twists. Leave to cool completely before eating.

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