Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC
Very Berry Cherry Wreath
(Please note photos above as a guide to the recipe.)
A date-sweetened bread wrapped around a mound of fresh berries, cherries and grapes is delicious and juicy without being cloyingly sweet. Plant-based, whole grain, with no added sugar or fats, this eye-catching ring that is loaded with phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber, not calories, is delightful for breakfast, brunch, teatime, or dessert.
Prep time 45 minutes, bread rise time 2 hrs Bake time 45 minutes Serves 8-12
1 cup date paste from 1½ cups whole pitted dates, any variety
1 cup unsweetened soymilk, warmed slightly
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups blueberries
2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
1 ½ cups mixed wild wineberries and black raspberries OR 1 cup blackberries, halved
1 cup mini red bell peppers, seeded, roasted, blended (optional)
½ cup pomegranate molasses•
• available now in many supermarkets, in Middle Eastern groceries, and online
Preheat oven to 350°F/176°C 30 minutes before baking.
To make date paste, add pitted dates to a bowl, just cover with water and microwave for 2 minutes. Alternatively, simmer on stovetop for 5 minutes. Cool. Throw in a high-speed blender and purée until very smooth.
Red Pepper Glaze
To make the mini red bell pepper glaze, destem and core the peppers. Dry roast in a 350°F/176°C oven for 20-30 minutes, or until peppers are soft and collapsing and lightly toasting on their edges. Cool. Toss in a high-speed blending with a spoonful or two of water and blend until very smooth.
- Warm soymilk in microwave or stovetop to no warmer than body temp. Add to a medium bowl and sprinkle on yeast. Stir and allow 10 minutes for the yeast to activate. Stir in ½ cup of the date paste and mix well. Then stir in the flour. Gather into a ball and turn out on a board to knead for 10 minutes.
- Return to the bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm corner (I set my oven to 100°F/37°C and left the oven door partially open) to rise until doubled in size, roughly 1½ - 2 hours.
Building the Wreath
- Line your largest rimless cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle a bit of flour and roll dough out to ¼” thickness in as large a circle as will fit your cookie sheet (my circle’s diameter was 14”). Using an inverted 5 ½”-6” bowl or plate as a template, center it over the dough circle and press it lightly down to mark an interior circle. Don’t cut through the dough, however.
- Now, using a knife and a straight edge, cut 8 lines through the center, as if you were cutting 8 equal slices of pizza. These will become the triangular tabs that will fold back over the fruit filling.
- Using an angled icing spatula or a blunt butter knife spread a coat of date paste over the entire surface of the dough.Mix the fruit in a large bowl. Pile it generously onto the outer ring of the dough circle, mounding it 1” from the outer edge.
- Fold up the dough on the outer edge over the fruit to hold the fruit and juices that it will produce while baking.
- Clean and dry the angled spatula. Use it to gently slide under each central dough triangle, lifting and pulling it gently back over a section of fruit. Press its tip lightly to seal it to the outer dough rim. Repeat with each triangle.
- Using a bristle brush apply red pepper purée OR pomegranate molasses to the crust. This is your first glaze coat.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until fruit is soft and juicy and crust is golden.
- Remove and apply pomegranate glaze to the crust and over all the fruit. Return wreath to the oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Allow to cool. The juices from the cooked fruit will congeal.
- Run the angled icing spatula under the wreath to free it up from the parchment paper before transferring it to a serving platter.
Very berry cherry wreath is delicious served at room temp but its flavor is best when warmed slightly. Enjoy every mouthful!