This is a twist - literally - on a very traditional recipe. Two strands of fruit-studded dough are twisted together and baked to create a rich, sweet ring.
- 450 g strong bread flour
- 5 g salt
- 14 g fast action yeast
- 75 g butter
- 300 ml water
- 75 g lard, cubed, plus extra for greasing
- 50 g soft dark brown sugar
- 225 g mixed dried fruit
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Rising time: 3-4 hours + 1½ hours.
1. Put the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other. Mix together, then rub in the butter. Pour in ¾ of the water and mix to form a dough. Add enough of the remaining water to get a soft dough that leaves the sides of the bowl clean.
2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth. Place in a clean bowl and leave to rise or 3-4 hours or until doubled in size.
3. Heat oven to 200°C and grease a 20 cm spring form tin with lard (or butter).
4. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Press with your fingers to flatten out into a rectangle, about 50 cm x 20 cm. Scatter the lard to cover two-thirds of the dough. Sprinkle the sugar over the lard. Cover the sugar with the dried fruit. Bring the uncovered section over into the centre, then fold the other third on top (a letter-fold).
5. Turn the dough 90° and roll into a large rectangle. Roll the dough from the longest side furthest away from you into a sausage shape. Cut down the entire length of the roll, to reveal the fruit inside. Hold the pieces firmly at each end and twist tightly together, moving your hands in opposite directions. Now coil the twisted dough together into a circle and press the ends firmly together.
6. Place the crown into the greased tin. Leave to prove until it reaches the top of the tin. This will take around 1½ hours.
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. This is lovely served warm.