I’m not sure why people (myself included) are so afraid to make yeast breads. They really are quite simple! Especially if you have the handy-dandy hook attachment for your KitchenAid Mixer. The hook takes out all of the hard hands-on work.
The most important part in yeast breads is making sure the yeast is dissolved in warm water. Not HOT water, and not COLD. Simply warm water.
If the water is too hot it will make the yeast inactive, resulting in hard, dense bread- which you won’t find out until its too late, and it will come out of the oven looking & feeling like tack biscuits! YUCK!
So people, don’t “burn” your yeast. Be patient and let it dissolve in that lukewarm water.
This Swedish Coffee Bread traditionally has almond paste, slivered almonds and golden raisins, which will be coming in a couple weeks.
I decided to put a Blueberry Cinnamon Roll twist on it.
Your guests will be amazed by the beautiful wreath-o-bread that you present to them. And trust me, there won’t be even a crumb left!
Swedish Blueberry Coffee Bread
1/2 cup milk (whole milk is the best)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 pkg active yeast dissolved in 1/8 cup warm water
1/2 egg (just estimate- doesn’t have to be exact)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup fresh blueberries (sub frozen blueberries, strain all the water out after defrosting)
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon half and half or heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 Tablespoon water
1. Put milk into a small saucepan and heat on medium heat until steamy (but not boiling). Remove from heat. Stir in the butter and sugar until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Pour into a mixing bowl. Mix in yeast mixture and egg.
2. Mix in salt. Slowly add in 2 cups of the flour. After the first cup of flour gradually add more flour until a soft dough starts to form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
3. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead dough for 7 to 10 minutes until smooth, OR use a dough hook in a stand-up mixer and knead the dough that way for 7 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed to keep the dough from being too sticky. Note that the dough should remain soft, so take care not to add too much flour.
4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, covered with a clean tea-towel or with plastic wrap. Let rise for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
5. Press the dough down to deflate it a bit. Take the dough and use your fingers to spread it into a 8-inch by 16-inch rectangle on a lightly floured, clean, flat surface.
6. Brush the dough with melted butter, leaving at least a half inch border on the edges so the dough will stick together when rolled. Mix together the brown and white sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle over the melted butter evenly. Spread the blueberries over the sugar mixture.
7. Carefully roll the dough up lengthwise, with the seam on the bottom. Carefully transfer to a greased baking sheet. Form a circle with the dough on the baking sheet, connecting the ends together.
8. Using scissors, cut most of the way through the dough, cutting on a slant. Work your way around the dough circle. It should look like a wreath once you’re done.
9. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm area for a second rise. Let rise for about 40 minutes to an hour; the dough should again puff up in size.
10. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk together the egg yolks and cream. Use a pastry brush to brush over the dough. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes of baking, if the top is getting well browned, tent with some aluminum foil.
11. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Whisk together powdered sugar and water to create a final glaze (optional). Add more water if the glaze is too thick to drizzle, add more powdered sugar if the glaze is too runny. Drizzle the glaze in a back and forth motion over the pastry. Enjoy!!