Maple Christmas Ring Loaf
- 5 ml (1 tsp) maple sugar
- 1 packet of dried yeast
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) warm water
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) softened butter
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) maple sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 750 ml (3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) maple butter
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) almond powder
- 2 – 250 g (8.5 oz.) packages of cream cheese
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) dried cranberries
- Melted butter
- Maple sugar flakes
- In a bowl, dissolve maple sugar and yeast in warm water, and let sit for 10 minutes.
- In a casserole, heat milk, butter, maple sugar and salt until fully dissolved. Pour into a large bowl, add half of the flour and the yeast mixture, and beat well using a whisk. Add beaten egg and the remaining flour and knead well.
- Place dough on a well-floured surface, cover with a clean cloth and let rise for 1.5 hrs.
- Meanwhile, mix maple butter and almond powder until you obtain a smooth consistency. Set the almond mixture aside.
- Then take the dough that has risen and roll it out into a rectangle. Spread it with cream cheese, then scatter on it pieces of the almond mixture and dried cranberries.
- Roll up length-wise to make a thick roll, then pinch the ends together to form a ring. Seal the edges. Place the ring on a cookie sheet laid with wax paper. Using scissors, make deep cuts at 5 cm (2 inch) intervals, but do not cut slices apart. Instead, twist each slice and lay it over the previous one.
- Cover with a clean cloth and let rest for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Baste the ring loaf with melted butter and sprinkle with maple sugar flakes.
- Bake for 35 minutes.