This festive holiday bread is not only gorgeous and great tasting but very easy to make despite it looking like you spent hours in the kitchen. The perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea while admiring the Christmas tree lights. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!
1/3 cup raw cane sugar or coconut sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp Real Salt
1 1/2 cups One Degree Organics Sprouted Spelt Flour, divided
1 cup cup organic all purpose white flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut, almond or soy milk
1/3 cup vegan margarine
Cranberry Orange Filling:
1 3/4 cup organic fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water
2 tsp organic orange zest
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the water, milk and margarine, until the margarine has melted and the mixture is warm. Let cool until the mixture is lukewarm. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast.
While the milk mixture is cooling, in a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough attachment, mix the sugar, yeast, salt and 1 cup of the Sprouted Spelt flour. You can also use a large bowl and mix together the sugar, yeast, salt and 1 cup of flour.
Once the milk mixture is cooled, add the liquid to dry ingredients and mix on low speed.
Once incorporated, stir in the flour, one cup at a time, until a smooth dough is formed, increasing the speed of the electric mixer.
Continue mixing the dough until it comes together. If the dough is too sticky add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too try add a little olive oil. Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place in a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover and allow to rise for one hour or doubled in size in a warm spot.
While the bread is rising, combine the cranberries, sugar, cornstarch and water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the orange zest, set aside to let cool.
Once the dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly floured surface and roll in to a 10 x 20 inch rectangle. Spread the cranberry sauce out to 1/2-inch from the edges. Starting at one of the shorter sides, tightly roll up dough, pinching edges as you go, like you would when making sticky buns. With the seam facing down, use a sharp knife and carefully slice completely through the dough, lengthwise down the center, end to end.
Braid the dough carefully and transfer to a lightly greased 10-inch loaf pan.
Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaf for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust with powdered sugar and top with fresh cranberries.