With the holidays coming up, how special would it be to have a wreath made out of delicious bread sitting on your table?! It’s like a centerpiece and dessert all in one. A win-win situation 😊
It might look fancy, but it’s truly not that difficult to make. This post will be a step-by-step guide on how to form a cinnamon sugar challah bread wreath. If you’re looking for any other challah tutorials, check out this one on how to make a basket weave challah.
Okay, let’s do this! You will want to begin with your favorite challah dough recipe. Make your dough exactly as you normally would and let it go through its first rise. When you would usually shape or braid it, you’ll begin to make your wreath!
Start by removing your risen challah dough from the bowl and cut (I like to use a bench scraper for this part) it into small pieces of varying sizes. Some can be small, like the size of the tip of your thumb, and others can be bigger, like the length of an iPhone. There’s no wrong size here!
You will end up with a lot of pieces of dough, which is just what you want! Next, choose a piece of dough and roll it into a rope. Bonus points if you have ugly kitchen countertops like I do 😉
Once you have a rope shape, roll the dough into a swirl and try to tuck the end of the rope under the swirl a little. It doesn’t have to look perfect, but it helps it keep its shape.
Place your swirled rope onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Begin making more ropes and swirls and placing them on the cookie sheep in a circular shape. I have found that making a basic circle shape first works well, and then I fill in extra pieces behind, within, and on top of the circle.
I also think it looks visually appealing to vary the sizes of the swirls next to each other, but you could always go for uniformity if you want to!
Once all of your dough swirls are placed on the cookie sheet and arranged how you want, they should look roughly like the picture below. Small swirls can even sit on top of large ones to fill in gaps and give the wreath more height and texture.
After you have finished arranging the wreath, cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Once your wreath has risen, brush it with melted butter. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and sprinkle it over the butter-coated dough.
Finish off with a pinch of sea salt and bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until golden and puffy.
Cool your wreath and there you have it! A beautiful centerpiece for your holiday table that doubles as a dessert!