Santa Lucia Crown
Source of Recipe
List of Ingredients
1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110°F)
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup warm milk (100 to 110°F)
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
4 candied red cherries, cut in half
1 teaspoon salt
3 candied green cherries, cut in half
1/8 teaspoon saffron powder
3 small red candles, about 4" in length
4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
4 small green candles, about 4" in length
Place ¼ cup of warm water in large mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and stir until dissolved. Let the mixture rest for about 5 minutes. During this time the yeast will activate, foam, and bubble.
Add the remaining ¼ cup of water, warm milk, sugar, butter, salt, and saffron, and stir to combine. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and with the mixer running, slowly add the flour; until it is well blended. Slowly add in 2 of the eggs. Note: the dough will be soft.
Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover the bowl with plastic film and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch dough down and let rest 5 minutes. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each portion of dough into a rope about 24 inches long. Braid the 3 ropes of dough together.
Place the braided dough on a greased baking sheet. Form the braid into a circle that forms a conical shape, forming a "crown." Tuck the ends of the dough under.
Cover the wreath of dough with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
Heat the oven to 375o. Beat the remaining egg and brush on the dough. Bake the wreath until it is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove the wreath from the oven and carefully place it on a rack to cool.
In a small bowl, add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and whisk to combine. The mixture will have the consistency of a glaze.
Spoon the glaze over the top of the wreath, allowing the glaze to run over the sides. Let the glaze set and harden for about 10 minutes, then stud the wreath with the red and green candied cherries.
With the tip of a paring knife, poke small holes equally spaced on top of the dough. Place a candle in each hole.
To serve, light the candles and bring the wreath to the table. Each guest should make a wish for the New Year and then all blow out the candles together. Remove the candles and serve a portion of the wreath to each guest.
Makes one crown