I am so excited to present you the recipe for my Cinnamon Christmas Bread Roll with Dried Fruits which is part of this year’s Food Advent Calendar “Spice it Up!” This is a cake – bread: fluffy, pleasently sweet and full of dried fruits! It is the perfect Christmas sweet treat for the people who are not much into desserts but want to feel the flavours of the season. And even if you have a sweet tooth like me, you will enjoy it so much!
I need to confess: I almost burned that Cinnamon Christmas Bread Roll when I baked it. This is because I forgot the golden rule to wrap it in aluminium foil right at the start of the baking. When I realised my mistake, the top was already quite dark but inside the bread was still raw. I was so worried that I had ruined it!
You probably have noticed that my baked goods are usually a bit lighter brown than what you see on the current photos but there are lots of people that like them well done, even almost burned. My family said that the colour of the Bread Rolll was fine and it looked completely edible, even quite yummy. So I decided to go ahead and take the photos without baking a new bread. Then we tasted it… It was delicious! Fluffy and full of flavours! I felt the Christmas vibes immediately.
How did I come up with the idea for this Christmas bread? It started with the realisation that I love Cinnamon rolls! On Easter this year I made them with chocolate and raspberry so I decided that for Christmas I have to make another kind. So it came up to my mind to make one giant cinnamon bread roll. In order to make it extra delicious I decided to add to the filling two of my favourite dried fruits: apricots and cranberries. And to make it even more exciting, I added also ground walnuts.
That bread roll is quite easy to make but it has one main challenge: it is quite complicated to roll multiple dough stripes one after another when they are covered with dried fruits. To avoid fruits falling out of place, you can make the stripes wider and fold them to close the fruits inside. Alternativelly you can simply make small sized cinnamon rolls instead of just one big cake roll.
However you decide to make the shape, I am sure you will love the taste of this fantastic sweet bread roll!
Cinnamon Christmas Bread Roll with Dried Fruits
For the dough:
- 500 g all purpose flour
- 115 g yogurt
- 150 ml warm milk
- 15 g active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 60 g sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 50 + 50 g butter, melted
For the filling:
- 150 g dried cranberries
- 150 g dried apricots, chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon, to taste
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 100 g ground walnuts
- 100 ml hot water
- In a cup combine warm milk, 1-2 teaspoons sugar and dry yeast. Cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
- In a large bowl beat the eggs shortly with a hand whisk (alternativelly use a stand mixer fitted with a dough attachment). Add the yeast mixture, the remaining sugar and 50 g of melted butter and beat until combined. Add the yogurt and the salt. Gradually add the flour, whisking gently (or lowering down the speed of the mixer).
- When a soft dough starts forming, start kneading with the dough attachment of the mixer or by hand, until the whole 500 g flour is absorbed.
- Make a ball out of the dough. Let it stay in the bowl covered with tea towels. Place the bowl in a warm place (close to a heating source) for 1-2 hours until it tripples its volume.
- Soak the dried apricots and cranberries in hot water for 1-2 hours.
- In a bowl combine sugar, cinnamon and ground walnuts and whisk.
- Grease well the bottom and the sides of a 26 cm (10 inch) spring form pan.
- Using a rolling pin roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Brush from the remaining 50 g melted butter over the rolled dough. Fold half of the dough onto the other half, so that the buttered side is enclosed inside. Roll the dough again. Brush again with butter and fold the same way, so that the buttered side is covered. Repeat the procedure 5-6 times. At the end you should still have about half of the melted butter left.
- Roll the dough into a large rectangular, about 1 cm thick. Brush it with butter. Spread evenly the walnut, cinnamon and sugar mixture on top of the dough sheet. Spread also the soaked fruits (leave in the bowl any remaining water).
- Cut the sheet into stripes as wide as the pan’s heigh divided in half. Roll up one of the stripes and place it in the center of the pan. Continue with the rest of the stripes, rolling them as a spiral in the pan, until filling the whole space.
- Alternativelly you can cut larger stripes and fold them in the middle, to cover the filling: this will prevent the fruits from falling out. Or the easies solution would be to roll up each stripe on its own and to arrange several small rolls in the pan (like regular cinnamon rolls).
- Brush the bread with the rest of the melted butter.
- Cover the pan with baking paper and tea towels. Leave it in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F).
- Cover the bread with aluminium foil and bake it for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until golden brown.
- Cover the bread roll with tea towel while it is hot. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Keep the leftovers in airtight container for up to 3 days.