christmas "gut friendly" cherry & pistachio bread wreath

14th December 2018

christmas "gut friendly" cherry & pistachio bread wreath

If you watch my Instagram stories you will know that this recipe almost broke me. Almost. I started the day smug with a picture perfect version in my head of the finished product. I was so sure I had this one covered. 

Fast forward six hours later (yes, I was still going six hours later) and I could be found sitting in the middle of the kitchen, a hot mess dripping with sweat, chocolate smears and covered in dough up to my elbows with tears of frustration and disillusionment in my eyes. 

Thank god for Hubbard coming to the rescue at the right moment to ensure I stepped back and handed over the knife just in the nick of time before the dough ended up landing somewhere outside of the kitchen bench perimeter. 

Look, we all have our moments. I'm usually pretty happy in the kitchen in particular. However life doesn't always go to plan and when shit goes down I'm one to get a little expressive about it. Carissa did trump me on this one though with her story of her green curry pegged out the front door into the garden so I think that if we both act slightly insanely over kitchen disasters then it could almost be deemed normal. 

It is that time of year though isn't it? We are all feeling a bit "end of year frazzled". Hanging on by our teeth. I find it such an oxymoron that we work like maniacs so we can step away for a few weeks for a break. It's like we need the holiday just to get over the weeks of lead up to Christmas itself. Its so damn backwards. That's why I am extra stoked and invested in our New Year Re-Vibe Package which the entire JCN team is taking part in. 

Anyway, I'm actually going to now leave the rest of this blog post to visually walk you through the method of the recipe. It's one of those recipes that definitely warrants visual aids, so here goes...

christmas "gut friendly" cherry & pistachio bread wreath

Roll the bread dough out on top of baking paper to an approximately 1cm thickness.

christmas "gut friendly" cherry & pistachio bread wreath

Top the flattened dough with an even scattering of cherries. 

christmas "gut friendly" cherry & pistachio bread wreath

Scatter on raspberries and apples.

christmas "gut friendly" cherry & pistachio bread wreath

Finish with roughly chopped chocolate. 

christmas "gut friendly" cherry & pistachio bread wreath

Take one length side of the dough and use both hands placed under the baking paper to carefully roll the dough over to reach the centre, encasing half of the filling inside the roll. Use your hands to push the dough and mould it through the baking paper to ensure it stays.

christmas "gut friendly" cherry & pistachio bread wreath

Now take the remaining side and roll this over on top of previously rolled side to create a large fully encased loaf. You will need to move the baking paper out of the way where the two sides join so it does not get caught in the middle. Use your hands to mould and press the loaf at the join and at both ends. 

christmas "gut friendly" cherry & pistachio bread wreath

Carefully peel back the baking paper from the sides allowing it to lay flat on the bench again exposing the loaf. Again, use your hands as needed to mould the loaf, especially pushing in the ends so that everything holds in nicely.

If making mini loaves use a sharp knife to slice the loaf width ways into 12 pieces then use your hands to reshape the cut sides to ensure the filling is encased. You can then bake them as per instructions in the method.

christmas "gut friendly" cherry & pistachio bread wreath

Otherwise, for the wreath, use a very sharp knife to cut the loaf width ways about 1.5cm thick creating slices. As you cut a slice carefully transfer it to the tray laying it's side with a edge against the upside bowl. Continue to cut slices and lay them in a circular fan direction as seen in the images above until you finish back at the starting piece. 

christmas "gut friendly" cherry & pistachio bread wreath

After baking, melt the remaining chocolate and then drizzle liberally over the bread.

christmas "gut friendly" cherry & pistachio bread wreath

 christmas "gut friendly" cherry & pistachio bread wreath

mini loaf option drizzled in chocolate. 

christmas "gut friendly" cherry & pistachio bread wreath

Print Recipe
serves
makes 16 slices
preparation time
60 minutes
cooking time
50 - 60 minutes

ingredients

  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1 cup almond meal ( I used freshly ground*)
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 3 tablespoons psyllium husks
  • 2 teaspoons cream tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground salt
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 cup goji berries
  • 2 cups / 180g roughly chopped dark chocolate ( I used 90%)
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cold pressed macadamia nut oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup pitted cherries, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 & 1/4 cups diced apple

method

I am going to give you two options in the below method. One where you can take a short cut and make the Christmas Gut Friendly Wreath as mini loaves (or even one loaf if you like), and another option where you can go to town and do the wreath version. You choose!

Preheat your oven to 180c, fan forced. 

In a large mixing bowl combine the buckwheat flour, white rice flour, almond meal, flaxseed meal, psyllium husk, baking powder, cream of tartar, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, all spice and salt. Toss everything really well ensuring the dry ingredients are evenly dispersed. 

Add to the dry ingredients the chopped pistachios, goji berries, 1 cup (90g) of the chopped dark chocolate and sunflower seeds and mix through thoroughly. 

Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and add in the water, cold pressed macadamia nut oil and apple cider vinegar. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a large wooden spoon bringing to a batter. Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes before moving to the next step.

Lay a large piece of baking paper out on the bench and lightly flour the top of the baking paper. Spoon the batter out on top of the paper. Use your hands first to bring the dough roughly together and then start to use the palms of your hands to push the dough out into a large rectangular shape. Now use a rolling pin to finish off aiming for approximately 1 cm thickness. The final shape should be the width of the baking paper and about 40cms in length.

Now scatter the top of the rolled out dough with the chopped cherries, raspberries, apple and 1/2 cup of chopped dark chocolate. 

Take a deep breath because things are about to get interesting. 

Take one length side of the dough and use both hands placed under the baking paper to carefully roll the dough over to reach the centre (as pictured above), encasing half of the filling inside the roll. Use your hands to push the dough and mould it through the baking paper to ensure it stays.

Now take the remaining side and roll this over on top of previously rolled side to create a large fully encased loaf. You will need to move the baking paper out of the way where the two sides join so it does not get caught in the middle. Use your hands to mould and press the loaf at the join and at both ends. 

Carefully peel back the baking paper from the sides allowing it to lay flat on the bench again exposing the loaf. Again, use your hands as needed to mould the loaf, especially pushing in the ends so that everything holds in nicely (see picture above).

At this point you need to make a decision as to whether you want to get your wreath action on or just bake the loaf as is or divide into mini- loaves. If cooking as is simply slide the loaf onto a baking tray and bake for 70 - 80 minutes. 

If making mini loaves use a sharp knife to slice the loaf width ways into 8 pieces then use your hands to reshape the cut sides to ensure the filling is encased (see picture above of mini-loaf). Place mini-loaves onto a baking tray and bake for 30 - 40 minutes.

Doing the wreath? Read on!

Line a baking tray with baking paper and place a small bowl (about 4cm wide) diameter upside down in the middle of the tray. 

Use a very sharp knife to cut the loaf width ways about 1.5cm thick creating slices. As you cut a slice carefully transfer it to the tray laying it's side with a edge against the upside bowl. Continue to cut slices and lay them in a circular fan direction as seen in the images above until you finish back at the starting piece. 

Place the tray in the oven for 50 - 60 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

Melt the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate and then drizzle liberally over the bread. Serve the bread either warm or cool, in the middle of the table with spreads of choice. Lovely with Avocado Chocolate Mousse

nutritional information

  • Cherries are an abundant source of antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation. Recent studies have show that cherries (specifically tart cherry juice) have the ability to reduce exercise induced muscle damage. This may be due to the anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant content of cherries, specifically anthocyanins. 2010, K. Kuehl, E. Perrier, D. Elliot, J. Chesnutt, Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
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