Glazed Sticky Spiced Festive Loaves | DonalSkehan.com
  • christmas

Glazed Sticky Spiced Festive Loaves

December 18

You can divide the roll of dough here into 4 and make 4 smaller loaves for the perfect festive gift! These will keep for 2-3 days if you warm through before serving or you can freeze them.

  • serves Serves 2
  • time 3 hours


  1. 1. Warm the milk, butter and sugar together in a pan over a medium heat until the butter and sugar are melted.
  2. 2. Mix the flour, salt, yeast and cardamom in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour the wet ingredients in. Using a wooden spoon or your hands mix until you have a rough dough. Turn out onto a clean surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic (or alternatively knead in an electric stand mixer). The dough will start off shaggy and sticky but will come together as you knead and you shouldn't need to add any more flour.
  3. 3. Transfer the dough to a floured bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm dark place.
  4. 4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Beat the butter, sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl until light and fluffy.
  5. 5. When the dough has risen, punch it down in the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll the dough into a large rectangle about 5mm thick, spreading the filling all over and scattering with the pecans.
  6. 6. Then, from the long side, roll the dough so you end up with a long cylinder. Cut the cylinder into 2 pieces and roll each one out lightly to form 2 long rectangles about 10cm wide.
  7. 7. Use a sharp knife to cut each rectangle into 3 long strips (leaving about 2 cm at the top uncut to keep them together). Plait the strips and seal together at the ends.
  8. 8. Transfer to two 900g loaf tins. Leave to rise again, covered, for 45 minutes-1 hour in a warm place.
  9. 9. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/170˚C fan/350˚F/Gas Mark 5.
  10. 10. Brush the plaits with beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until it turns golden brown and is nicely risen.
  11. 11. To make the syrup, melt the sugar in the water over a low heat then add the cardamom and bubble until you have a light but sticky syrup.
  12. 12. Remove the loaves from the oven, brush all over with the syrup then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving.


Makes 2 loaves


500ml whole milk

110g butter

75g caster sugar

800g strong bread flour

12g fine sea salt

2 x 7g sachets of instant yeast

2 tsp ground cardamom

1 egg, beaten

4 tbsp of pearl sugar (demerara sugar will work too)

For the filling:

125g soft butter

90g soft light brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

40g pecans, quite finely chopped

For the syrup:

45g caster sugar

45ml water

1 tsp ground cardamom