Festive Fig-Pecan Coffeecake Wreaths
Festive, fig and pecan filled yeast-raised pastry coffeecake wreaths.
2 cups chopped figs
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups milk
2 (0.25-ounce) packages active dry yeast or 5 teaspoons
8 3/4 cups all-purpose flour - divided use
1 1/2 cups butter or margarine
3 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
- Combine figs and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes, or until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in chopped pecans and remove from heat; set aside to cool.
- In another small saucepan, scald milk (bubbles should form just around the edges) then remove from heat and cool to 105°F to 115°F. Sprinkle yeast over milk and let stand for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup flour, mix well, then let sit undisturbed for 1 hour.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and 3/4 cups of flour with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in yeast until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add salt and up to 7 cups of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning to grease both sides. Let rise, covered, in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
- Divide dough in half and roll each portion into a 12 x 16-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut one of the rectangles into (4) 3 x 16-inch strips. Spread fig filling on each strip and roll up, starting from one of the long sides, like a jelly roll; seal seam. Braid 3 of the jelly rolls, then fashion into a wreath, pinching ends together; place on a cookie sheet. Use remaining roll to fashion a bow and attach to wreath, over the spot where ends are pinched together. Repeat with remaining rectangle. Cover each wreath and let rise, covered, for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Bake wreaths for 30 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 24 servings.
Tip: For a shinier finish, brush each wreath with a mixture of beaten egg yolk thinned with a little water, right before baking.