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Swedish Walnut Tea Ring

Hard to believe that in spite of the amount of bread I bake every week, from simple baguettes to brioche or my now well known love affair with cinnamon rolls, I have not participated in one single Bread Baking Day event, created by Zorra. Something had to change! When Eva announced this month’s theme, I knew I could not pass on it: shaped bread. I love messing with decoratively shaped breads such as Sunflower rolls, Dulce de Leche Rolls, Apricot Couronne and others. There is one that I love to make on an almost weekly basis: the Tea Ring. Over the past years, I have tried so many different recipes that I have come up with a basic dough that is light and soft yet sturdy enough to accommodate many different spices, nuts and fillings.

This one has my beloved cardamom in the dough, as well as cinnamon and walnuts inside. The crumb is perfectly tight to hold it own dunked in coffee and yet soft enough to melt in your mouth. I make it using either instant dry yeast or rapid rise yeast and never had a problem either or. With the instant dry yeast, you will need to proof it first in the warm milk. If you are relatively new at bread making this can be easily messed up if your liquids are too hot. Using rapid rise yeast decrease this risk because you just mix it in with the rest of the ingredients, skipping that proofing step.

Which one do I use? Both, and I admit that I have come to love the rapid rise kindbecause I don’t have to mess up with the liquid temperatures, if that gets me yelled at by the bread police, well then be it! My take on it is that if it sold and it works to produce lovely breakfast rings like this one, I am in! Since I use the instant yeast and proofing method for this one, I will write the recipe down as such, but know that is ok to be lazy busy and throw the yeast in with the rest of the ingredient if you use rapid rise.

Swedish Tea Ring:

Ring Dough:
1 package instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 Tb sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp. cardamom
zest of one lemon
2 1/2 – 3 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 TB cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tb milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the milk until tepid (105F-110F). In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve yeast in the warm milk until foamy, about 1o minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups flour, butter, salt, sugar, egg, lemon zest and mix using the dough hook until the dough comes together. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour if the dough is still too soft. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny, about 5 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out to a 12×18 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter all over the rectangle. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon, sugar and walnuts. Spread this mixture evenly across the dough. Roll the dough into a long roll and press the seam closed. With the seam turned downward, seal the two ends together to make a ring.
Place the ring on a parchment paper lined baking pan. Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, make cuts every inch or so along the ring, cutting only three quarters of the way through. Twist each piece slightly so that the rolls fan out from the center of the ring. Cover the roll with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. Bake at 375F , 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the ring from the oven, place on a rack to cool.
When cooled, combine the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk and drizzle the glaze all over the ring.

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Anonymous January 17, 2008 um 4:09 am

That looks lovely. I need to get a ring cake pan so I can make this!

Evelin January 17, 2008 um 4:54 am

Right now I’m dreaming of being you. Of having this feeling in my hands. A little something for making bread.

But unfortunately when I tried making a German stollen for Christmas(the last time I tried to bake bread), it turned out to be something else in the end. Let’s say the nuts and marzipan inside saved it!:D Although, well, I’ve made some great buns…

A steady recipe by you sounds great. I might give it a try one day:)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) January 17, 2008 um 5:01 am

In my next life, I hope you are my next-door neighbor. I would be knocking on your door every day, begging for a taste of whatever is coming out of the oven!

Cakespy January 17, 2008 um 5:40 am

I think any day would instantly be lovely with the addition of this walnut tea ring. Yum!!

Katie January 17, 2008 um 6:45 am

Your bread looks wonderful, I can imagine the walnut and cinnamon flavours work really well together and the glaze on top really fnishes it off

Meeta K. Wolff January 17, 2008 um 7:12 am

These are often the most perfect cakes for teatime. I would love to sit down with you over a wonderful tea. You bring this cake and I’ll bring the tea. Hugs!

Peabody January 17, 2008 um 7:16 am

Mmmm, come to me of ring of sugary baked dough. Mmmmm. And again, mmmm.

KayKat January 17, 2008 um 8:19 am

This looks *so* good! *sigh*! And I can only drool at the pictures …

Ok, you’ve inspired to bake a bread for this event, it better turn out atleast half as good as yours! ๐Ÿ™‚

Practical Social Skills January 17, 2008 um 1:25 pm

Keep up the great work on the blog! I’m browsing through the posts and wish I was sitting down with a few of these pastries myself…


Dana January 17, 2008 um 2:05 pm

This looks amazing!! It reminds me of one of the best breads I’ve ever made — a Finnish pulla. Pulla is also Scandinavian, so it uses cardamom (my fave) in the bread as well. This has me drooling!

Chou January 17, 2008 um 3:10 pm

Yum. Cardamom is so fun when it reaches out and surprises you. I think I know what’s happening in my house this weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rosa's Yummy Yums January 17, 2008 um 3:34 pm

A real beauty! There’s nothing better than brioche bread with icing and nuts! Yummy!



Fruit tart January 17, 2008 um 4:29 pm

Oh that looks so lovely! I once ate (one bite of) one that seemed to be made of self-hardening clay or something — it was so tough. But yours looks so tender!

Susan @ SGCC January 17, 2008 um 4:34 pm

What a lovely tea cake bread! I’m on my way over with some Starbucks!

Manggy January 17, 2008 um 5:08 pm

Oh, this brings back so many memories as a young boy, flipping through the very thick tome of Betty Crocker (Encyclopedia of Cookery?). Roll the tea ring, snip with scissors… I’ve never had one myself though! It just doesn’t make an appearance in Filipino tables! I guess I will have to change that soon, as yours looks so inviting ๐Ÿ™‚

Gloria Baker January 17, 2008 um 7:06 pm

This looks amazing Tartalette! Gloria

Katy January 17, 2008 um 7:10 pm

This looks amazing — I love that it’s a cross between a bread and a cake!

Deborah January 17, 2008 um 7:55 pm

Your bread ring is gorgeous!! I used to use rapid yeast until I started using yeast in baking more – now it’s easier to buy the jar of yeast. But I have no problems with people that use rapid yeast!!

Brilynn January 17, 2008 um 8:47 pm

That dough looks so soft and fluffy, I swear it’s calling my name!

MyKitchenInHalfCups January 17, 2008 um 9:33 pm

I can see that it would hold up well to dunking! Lovely! All the flavors you’ve got together there would make it heavenly from the oven.

JEP January 18, 2008 um 12:58 am

Perfectly gorgeous! I envy your talent:)

test it comm January 18, 2008 um 2:15 am

This looks and sounds almost link a cinnamon bun in ring form. It looks great!

Jenny January 18, 2008 um 4:47 am

This really looks beautiful and even more delicious!

Mary January 18, 2008 um 5:53 am

Oh my that looks so delicious and lovely.

Cynthia January 18, 2008 um 2:42 pm

Hard to believe indeed! You make such gorgeous stuff!

Anita January 18, 2008 um 4:52 pm

Mmm…I love Danishes of all sorts – and this looks like the yummiest gooey-est best! Beautiful!

Patricia Scarpin January 18, 2008 um 4:58 pm

I have got to try making such a beautiful loaf sometime, Helen!

Steph January 18, 2008 um 7:35 pm

Please send this to me!! I’m being tortured by the image…I need a bit!!

Jaime January 19, 2008 um 12:18 am

this looks amazing!!! do you think it would be good w/o the walnuts? (I don’t like nuts!)

Anonymous January 19, 2008 um 3:42 am

I haven’t heard about this event, but it would be right up my alley!
This tea ring looks so tasty.

Katia Mangham January 19, 2008 um 5:06 am

This looks so good, the bread looks very moist. I have been wanting to make king cake filled with cream cheese- do you think the bread portion of this recipe would work for that purpose?

Helene January 19, 2008 um 5:11 am

Cedar: the good thing about the bread is that you don’t need a ring pan, it’s free form.

mrspresley: yes, you can do it without the nuts. That would work just fine!

Katia: I just did one last night with 4 oz of cream cheese inside, the sugar and cinnamon and it turned out delicious!

Ari: it’s your post that reminded me of digging this one out for the event!

Eva January 19, 2008 um 11:11 am

I’m glad to see that you decided to participate in BBD#6 – your tea ring looks awesome!

Sarah January 19, 2008 um 1:58 pm

Yum yum! I’ve recently got into bread baking – for me, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I agree, the rapid rise yeast is SO much easier!!

xox Sarah

Anonymous January 19, 2008 um 3:48 pm

Most things with strategically messy icing, usually get my attention anyway, but when you add brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon – Yes!

Katia Mangham January 19, 2008 um 3:50 pm

I am so excited I finally found a moist cake to make the King Cake with! Thank You!! xx

LizNoVeggieGirl January 19, 2008 um 4:01 pm

I must say, Helen, I too am surprised that you’ve never participated in one of Zorra’s Bred Day events – so glad to see you doing so, since EVERYTHING you make (bread or not) is FABULOUS!!

I’ve never used cardamom before, but if you considerate one of your beloved spices, then it MUST be good!! sounds like a lovely pairing with the walnuts in that tea ring – yum!

Lesley January 19, 2008 um 6:48 pm

Helene this looks so delicious. If I were your next door neighbor i would weight a thousand pounds!
I’m dying to make one…but I overdid it during the holidays!! Argh!

Chris January 19, 2008 um 9:12 pm

This looks absolutley scrumptious. I have a recipe for a tea ring that I have shifing from one side of the kitchen to another, but haven’t actually made. If it turns out looking like this one? Well, it definitely won’t last long. ๐Ÿ™‚

chem January 20, 2008 um 7:35 pm

I made the Swedish Tea Ring yesterday and just wanted to let you know it turned out beautifully! Thanks for a great new recipe.

Unknown January 20, 2008 um 7:56 pm

I made this just this morning and it came out amazingly awesome. Thanks so much for a great and easy recipe.

Anonymous January 22, 2008 um 3:21 am

I’ve never made any type of sweet bread. I think it’s just the thought of the process.

I’d like to try this though. We make stuff like pudin de pan, which is not hardly the same thing! lol

Tessa January 22, 2008 um 4:58 am

Oh my word, this looks scrumptious. Bread + sugar + nuts… how can you go wrong? I need to try this!

Allison January 23, 2008 um 3:31 pm

This look amazing!

Allison January 23, 2008 um 3:31 pm

This looks amazing!

Bruno January 24, 2008 um 4:43 pm

Bonjour Tartelette,

Your tea ring looks delicious! I love that you add cardamom to the dough. Bread police be damned, who cares what kind of yeast you use when you get great results!!

zorra February 5, 2008 um 10:16 am

Okay, when I can come by to have a slice? ๐Ÿ™‚

Cakelaw February 6, 2008 um 2:16 am

This looks simply gorgeous – I could happily have some now …

Sunshinemom September 17, 2008 um 3:15 pm

I make this too, but my recipe book has almond meal, and candied fruits as well in the filling. I never somehow thought of trying it with a lighter filling. Am making this next time with your filling!!

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