Queen Esther is one of the most popular characters for fancy dress at Purim, so here I have created a ‘bread crown’ to symbolise her special character to be enjoyed a the Seudah. It can be frozen, so make in advance.
Preparation Time: 50 minutes plus 2 hours 45 minutes for proving
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 1 Round loaf enough for 10
For the bread dough:
50g butter, cubed
450g strong plain flour
7g dried yeast
50g golden caster sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg – beaten to glaze
For the Filling:
250g dried mixed fruit
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons mixed spice
Zest and juice 1 lemon
Zest and juice 1 orange
50g pistachio nuts –roughly chopped
100g butter – softened
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
- Make the bread dough by first warming the milk in a saucepan but do not let it boil.
- Add the butter and set aside.
- Tip the flour, yeast, sugar, salt into a large mixing bowl.
- When the milk has cooled to room temperature pour the liquid on to the flour mix.
- Using an electric mixer combine the dough until it is soft. Transfer it to a lightly oiled clean bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for 2 hours or until double in size.
- Place the mixed fruit, cinnamon, mixed spice, zest and juice in a saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes so the fruit absorbs the liquid and become soft ( or place in a glass bowl, covered and put in the microwave for 1 minute).
- Chill until cold, then mix in in the pistachio nuts, butter, poppy seeds and sugar.
- When the dough is ready, knock back the air. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface.
- Roll out to a 45 cm x 28cm rectangle.
- Spread the buttery spiced fruit mixture over the surface of the dough.
- From one of the long edges, roll the dough up into a tight cylinder, then bring the two ends to meet, creating a ring.
- Transfer to a tray lined with baking parchment paper.
- Using a sharp knife, cut incisions around the outside of the dough, about 3 cm apart, in a sunburst pattern, going quite close to the centre but not all the way through. Work your way around the outside, pull each piece of dough out a little, then push it down on one side so that the cut edge is exposed and to create a fan shape around the edge. ( See picture)
- Brush the ‘crown’ with egg and leave for 45 minutes to prove or until double in size.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 180 Fan/ Gas mark 6.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden and hollow sounding when tapped on the base.
- Leave to cool on a rack before eating warm or cold.