This is an easy and wonderful pastry to impress someone with. The cardamom in the dough really brings out the almond flavor.
1 large wreath or 2 braids, oven temperature 400F
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 c milk
1 egg yolk
4 teaspoons dry yeast or 25g fresh yeast
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoons sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
approx. 3 1/4 c all purpose, unbleached flour
5 oz almond paste
1 egg white
Brushing and decorating:
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Proof the yeast by heating up 1/4 c of the milk to 110F. Add the yeast and mix. Add a pinch of the sugar. Let sit for 10 min in a warm, draft free place. Mixture is ready when bubbly.
2. In a pot, melt the butter and add the milk. Heat to 110F.
3. In the bowl of the mixer; pour in the warm milk and melted butter. Add the rest of the sugar, salt, cardamom and 2 c of flour. Run the dough hook. Add the egg.
4. Gradually keep adding one more cup of flour while stopping the machine now and then to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The dough is ready when it's shiny, elastic and starting to let go of the sides of the bowl. Cover and let rise to double in size.
5. While the dough is rising prepare the filling. Grate the almond paste and mix with the egg white. Add 1 teaspoon ground cardamom.
6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Give the dough a few turns and then roll it out to a large rectangle approx. 15" x 12".
7. Spread the almond paste filling evenly over the rectangle.
8. Start from the long end of the dough and roll it up.
9. Bring the ends together and pinch the ends together.
10. With scissors, cut the top of the dough and turn each cut to the side.
Follow this link to see a video: https://youtu.be/ixmCPTONdjE
11. Brush the top of the wreath with egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar and sliced almonds.
12. Bake at 200F on the lower over rack for approx. 20 min. until golden brown.