Erdbeerkranz: German Strawberry Wreath
Sometimes Germans turn breads into wreaths, so they're pretty to look at. Try it for yourself with this sweet strawberry yeast dough recipe, which was transformed into an Erdbeerkranz.
About this Recipe
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I love strawberry season! I've been buying and enjoying my share of fresh strawberries this month...
On a side note, I always buy organic strawberries since these lovely, little, red fruits has been named the produce item with the most pesticide residues for 2019, and have topped the 'dirty dozen' list 4 years in a row now. Especially if you're pregnant or feeding children, avoiding pesticides is critical. I hope that soon all produce on the dirty dozen list will be available as organic options at grocery stores, so people actually have a choice. Okay, rant over. 🙂
So back to the his beautiful strawberry wreath... this wreath is not for hanging on your door, although I suppose you could if you really wanted to..! 😀 Over the last year, I have more and more been playing with yeast doughs and learned to really, almost a little too passionately, love them. There is just something about pulling those strings of dough apart after the yeast has worked its wonders and doubled and maybe even tripled your dough in size. Many people are scared of working with yeast dough, thinking they'll ruin it. But as long as you have fresh yeast on hand (I always buy the single packs to make sure they're fresh), dissolve it in a warmish liquid with a little of its favorite food (sugar), you'll be golden. I also have the perfect warm spot right beneath the upper kitchen cabinet lights, where I usually sit the bowl with my yeast dough. I like covering it up tightly with some plastic wrap, so the dough doesn't dry out and the clear wrap helps create somewhat of a greenhouse effect in the bowl, which accelerates the growth of the yeast. Follow those steps and you should always succeed (keeping my fingers crossed for you!).
This particular dough has a little butter and sugar added since it's turning into a sweet treat, is then twisted with a filling of sunflower seeds and marinated, fresh strawberries, and is finally finished with a lemony glaze on top, turning this into one of the best Spring treats you can imagine. The glaze also helps the bread keep its moisture for a little longer, but either way, I would recommend enjoying this strawberry wreath the day you make it for the best flavor and texture experience. I had intended to fill this wreath with a rhubarb filling at first, but somehow in Kansas, rhubarb is nowhere to be found (or at least I haven't seen it this season), so you will need to be a little more patient with me! Rhubarb treats coming soon!
Ingredients For Erdbeerkranz
- 75 g butter (unsalted)
- 200 ml (+ 3 Tbsp) milk
- 2 sleeves (14 g) active-dry yeast
- 75 g (+ 1 Tbsp) sugar
- 500 g all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 250 g fresh strawberries (net weight after trimming - you can also use rhubarb if you can find it!)
- 4 Tbsp good strawberry jam
- 40 g sunflower seeds
- 3 eggs
- 6 slices freeze-dried strawberries
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 250 g powdered sugar
- parchment paper
- freezer bag
- Shaping Your Wreath: Just like when I made the bread flower, you can use the round bottom of your spring form (large size) to help you keep the wreath perfectly round... I didn't do that (but will next time), so my wreath was a little awkwardly shaped and not perfectly round.
- Strawberry Filling: I simply marinated the strawberries in some of my favorite strawberry jam, but you can also substitute other fruit and jams, and even add herbs if you would like.
More German Strawberry Recipes
Frozen Strawberry Cake
Erdbeerkranz Step By Step Instructions
Melt the butter, warm the milk to lukewarm, and combine the two. In a small bowl, combine 3.5 oz (100 ml) of the milk-butter mixture, yeast, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and form an indention with your fist. Pour in the yeast mixture, cover with some flour from the sides of the bowl, and allow to activate for 15 minutes. Clean, wash and trim the strawberries and cut into slices. Mix with the jam and allow to marinate at room temperature. Put the sunflower seeds in a freezer bag and using a meat tenderizer, beat until the pieces are very small (you can also use a food processor if you have one).
Add in the remaining milk and 2 eggs and using the dough hook, combine to a smooth dough. Cover and let rest in a warm spot for about 30 minutes to an hour. On a floured surface, roll out dough to a rectangle shape (12 by 28 inches or 30 by 70 cm).
Cut dough into two long ways and sprinkle on the sunflower seed crumbs. Transfer the strawberries to a mesh strainer and allow any excess liquid to drip off. Evenly distribute the strawberries onto the two dough halves. Enclose the filling with the dough. Separate the egg and whisk together the yolk and 3 tablespoon of milk.
Twist the two filled dough strands together until you get a thick, cord-like bread, then form into a wreath. Transfer to a baking sheet prepped with parchment paper and allow to rise for another 15 minutes. Brush on the egg-milk wash and bake in on the convection setting in a preheated oven at 320 Fahrenheit (160 Celsius) for about 30 to 35 minutes (potentially covering with some aluminum foil after 20 minutes, so it doesn't get too dark). Remove from oven and let cool.
Put freeze-dried strawberries into a freezer bag and using a meat tenderizer, beat lightly until broken up into small pieces. Mix together egg white and lemon juice. Add in the powdered sugar and whisk together until smooth. Using a spoon, distribute over the cooled down wreath and garnish with the freeze-dried strawberries. Allow to set up for about 30 minutes before cutting up and serving.
Strawberry Ginger Shrub Cocktail
Ever made a shrub before? It's one way to make drinking cider more enjoyable. 😉 But seriously, they're great enjoyed with some sparkling water and even better with a little bit of vodka or gin added, such as the Schlichte German Steinhäger dry gin I used (made from juniper berries). Simply marinate the following ingredients for 3 to 5 days before straining and enjoying.
Shrub - combine and let marinate in the fridge for 3 to 5 days (makes about 6 servings):
- ½ c fresh, chopped strawberries
- 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- ½ c apple cider vinegar
- basil or mint would also be a great addition
Cocktail (1 serving) - combine first 3 ingredients below over ice, stir, then fill up with club soda:
- 1.5 ounces shrub
- 2 ounces Schlichte gin
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice
- club soda
White Asparagus Flammkuchen
White Asparagus season is still in full swing! For my next post I will feature a German flatbread aka Flammkuchen using this worshipped vegetable. Make sure to subscribe to my blog now, so you're not missing out when my new White Asparagus Flammkuchen post goes live!
I received compensation from Niche Import Co. in exchange for writing this post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions, thoughts and recipes are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may be compensated if you click certain links.