My wife has been making different kinds of breads from a bread cook book entitled “Beard on Bread“. This bread is a very interesting bread with pistachio nuts. It is a kind of a sweet bread but not too sweet and perfect for breakfast. You can see pistachio nuts on the cut surface.
1 Package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 Tbs. sugar (to bloom the yeast)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter softened
2 tsp. salt
3 to 4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup (additional) sugar
1 cup shelled salted pistachio nuts roughly chopped
1 egg lightly beaten for egg wash
Bloom the yeast. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a mixing paddle add the milk, softened butter, salt and 1/2 cup sugar, yeast mixture and stir. Change to a dough hook. Add the flour one cup at a time until dough forms around the hook. Form into a ball and put into a bowl with a small amount of vegetable oil. Coat the surface of the dough with the oil (so it doesn’t dry out) cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
Punch dough down. On the floured board covered with parchment paper roll it into an 18 X 12 inch rectangle. (Since the dough is very tender, to make the transfer to the cookie sheet easier, I measured a piece of parchment paper the same size as the sheet I was going to use to cook the bread. I rolled out the rectangle and formed the loaf on the parchment paper. Then I dragged the parchment paper over onto the cookie sheet. I did not remove the paper, I cooked the loaf on it. ) Brush the surface of the rectangle with the 1/4 cup melted butter. Sprinkle on the 1/3 cup sugar and the pistachio nuts. Beginning with the long edge roll the dough like a jelly roll pressing the seams and edges together. Form into a circle. At 3/4 inch intervals slice 2/3 of the way down into the ring (#1). Twist each slice to the right so the interior the slice is facing up (#2 & #3). Let the ring rise until doubled. Brush with egg wash. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes until browned (#4).
I was not around when she started and I have no pictures of the rolled out dough, filling or rolling up process. In any case, this was rather elaborate and will have some impact if it was served whole and cut into individual servings. Of course, for us, my wife cut them into a manageable size, double wrapped in a plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and froze it. This bread has a fairly dense but still soft texture. It is slightly sweet. The saltiness from pistachio appears to enhance the sweetness despite relatively small amount of sugar in it. This bread is extremely good and would be perfect for a holiday.