Swedish Tea Ring
From Rob Falke’s Mom’s, Mom’s Mom
For the yeast…
½ Cup of lukewarm water
4 Tablespoons of dry yeast
A Pinch of sugar
For the dough…
10 Cups of white flour
2 Cups of lukewarm milk
1 Cup of white sugar
1 Cup of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of salt
1 Stick of butter (To melt and brush in the dough)
For the filling…
1 Cup of brown sugar
1 Cup of chopped nuts (Walnuts or Almonds)
2 Oranges (grate the zest)
1 Cup of maraschino cherries
For the frosting…
2 Cups of powdered sugar
A Splash of milk
The Sweet Dough…
Prepare the sweet dough by pouring the 4 tablespoons of dry yeast into the 1 cup of lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar. Stir with your finger so most the yeast gets wet. Set aside to rise.
Warm a large mixing bowl with hot water. Pour out the water when the bowl is warm.
Add the two Cups of lukewarm milk, 1 cup of white sugar, 1 Cup of vegetable oil and 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix in the raised yeast. Whisk the eggs to mix the yolks and whites, then add the eggs to the batch. Mix well. Last, slowly mix in the flour.
When the dough is somewhat mixed together, pour the dough out on a clean surface and knead it for 5-10 minutes until the ingredients bind and the dough becomes smooth, but a little sticky. Let rise in a warm (not too hot) spot, punch down once or twice.
Grate the zest of both oranges and place in a medium bowl. Add the chopped nuts (reserve a few whole pieces to garnish the top of the tea rings.) Cut each of the maraschino cherries in half. (Go ahead and eat a few of them, saving several for decoration on top of the tea rings) Mix together and set aside the filling.
Roll up the ring…
Halve the ball of dough. Roll out the dough (one ball a a time) on a lightly floured surface and roll to about ¼ to 3/8 inches thick into a rectangle about 20” x 14”. Brush the dough generously with butter. Spread half the filling evenly over the dough. Roll up the dough with the filling inside until you have a 24” x 3” cylinder. Pinch the far edge of the dough to the bottom of the cylinder and seal it.
Place parchment paper on two large cookie sheets (with sides if you can, because the butter melts and will mess up your oven when they bake.) Place the dough in a circle on the cookie sheet sealing both ends to each other completing the circle.
Cut the ring of dough every 1” around the circle with a pair of large scissors. The cut should be straight out from the center of the ring, 2/3 of the way through the dough. Lift and gently press each slice of the ring, slanting each slide in one direction exposing some of the filling to view. Let rise for 10 minutes in a warm (not too hot) spot.
Bake in the oven…
Bake both rings for 30 minutes at 350º Fahrenheit in the preheated oven until the edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Make the Frosting…
Mix two Cups of powdered sugar with a splash of milk (not too much) until a thick frosting appears. When the tea rings are cooled, spoon on a thin line of frosting in a circular motion going round the top of the tea ring several times to form overlapping circles. Cap with several cherries and some nuts.
About 20 seconds per piece in the microwave is perfect. If you’re lucky you can taste a hint of doughy flavor in the center of the tea ring. Happy Holidays! Keep a cold glass of mike handy. Lick your fingers often.