These dishes are perfect for making at Winter Solstice when we’re celebrating the past year, looking at the upcoming year and days getting longer again. The Wish Bread gives children the opportunity to work together, all the while talking about their hopes and wishes for the next year.
Sweet Wish Bread
- 2 tbsp Yeast
- 1/3 cup Warm Water
- sprinkle of Demerara Sugar
- 1 cup Milk, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup Demerara Sugar
- 4 tbsp Butter, softened
- 3 Eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp Salt
- 4 1/2 -5 1/2 cup Flour
- 1/2 cup Raisins or other small dried fruit
- 1/4 cup Butter
- 1/4 cup packed Demerara Sugar
- 1/2 cup Walnuts or Pecans, chopped
- In a small bowl proof the yeast with the warm water and sprinkling of sugar.
- Mix the milk, sugar, butter, eggs, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the yeast. Stir in the flour, a cup at a time, until stiff.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead until dough is smooth and pliant. Oil the large bowl, put the dough back in, turn it over and cover the bowl with a moist tea towel. Let it rise until doubled.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze by melting the butter and sugar together in a double boiler. Butter a bundt or tube pan. Pour 1/3 of the glaze in the bottom with a sprinkling of nuts.
- Together with the children, pull golf ball sized pieces off the dough. Put raisins and dried fruit in the dough balls with every wish you share aloud or silently.
- Lay half the balls evenly around the bottom of the pan. Pour on another 1/3 of the glaze , then lay the remaining balls in the pan and pour on the remainder of glaze.
- Cover pan again with the cloth and let rise until the dough is about 80% doubled. Bake in a preheated 350’F oven for 45 minutes. The sugar promotes rapid browning, so check the top ever 30 minutes, and it’s too brown, fold a piece of foil and place it across the top of the pan like a tent. You can test the doneness with a knife or toothpick.
- Let the finished bread cool a few minutes and then turn it onto a rack and serve warm.
- 1/2 cup Caster Sugar
- 2 tbsp Water
- 2/3 cup Caster Sugar
- 6 Egg Yolks, beaten
- 2 cups Milk (I used Almond)
- 2 Egg Whites, beaten stiff but not dry
- 1 1/2 tsp Flour
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- Make the caramel bottom, by combining the 1/2 cup of sugar in a small pot with the water. Cover, bring to a boil. Uncover and carefully stir with a heat resistant spatula. Allow to boil some more. When syrup starts to turn a golden brown, swirl pan to distribute colour. Pour into at baking dish to hold at least 4 cups.
- Preheat oven 325’F.
- Combine egg yolks and remaining sugar and beat until thick and pale yellow. Add milk slowly and then fold in the egg whites, flour and vanilla. Pour into the dish with the caramel in the bottom.
- Place dish inside a deep, oven proof pot or pan, then carefully fill the pot with hot water to the level of the custard in the dish. Because the custard just barely fit in my dish, I filled the pot most of the way and then put the pot in the oven before filling it the rest. I wanted to make sure the water didn’t slop around and go into the custard dish.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours. The custard is done when a knife comes out clean and the top starts to pull away from the sides of the dish.
- Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until serving.
Next time I make this custard I’ll either make it in a larger dish or I’ll make them in shallow individual dishes.