Yields 2 wreaths Serve this festive, wreath/shaped bread for a holiday brunch or tie a loaf with ribbon for gift/giving. A light dusting of powdered sugar evokes visions of freshly fallen snow.
Starter Time: 12 to 24 hours
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Rising Time: 2 1/2 hours
1 cup millet
2 cups water
2 cups orange juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup barley malt or maple syrup
2 cups raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon barley malt or maple syrup
1 teaspoon canola oil
Pinch of sea salt
1. Bring 2 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in millet. Reduce heat, cover and cook 20 minutes. Puree millet and orange juice in a blender or food processor until creamy; pour into a large mixing bowl. Add oil, salt and yeast and mix well. Stir in enough flour until mixture looks like thick/cooked cereal. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel; leave for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature. (At this point, the starter may be refrigerated up to a week before proceeding with the recipe.)
2. Add barley malt, raisins and cinnamon to starter and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir in whole wheat flour first then white flour. As you add the white flour, the mixture will become too thick to stir. Work in remaining white flour with your hands.
3. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead 10 to 15 minutes or until dough is soft and springy but not sticky.
4. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place 1-1/2 hours or until doubled in size. (At this point, the dough may be placed in a plastic bag and frozen until ready to be used.)
5. To make braided wreaths: Punch down dough and divide in half. Divide each half into three equal balls. Using your hands, roll each ball into a 16/inch long "rope." Use three of the ropes to make a braid; repeat with the remaining three ropes. Make each braid into a wreath by joining the ends together. Place each wreath on an oiled cookie sheet.
6. Combine glaze ingredients. Using a basting brush, coat the tops of the wreaths with glaze. Let rise 45 to 60 minutes until doubled in size.
7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake bread 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes before slicing (if you can wait!). Lightly dust with powdered sugar, if desired.