About this recipe:Make a circle with the dough and cut only part way through twisting each piece partially on its side to make a beautiful bread for Christmas morning.
1 tablespoon dried active baking yeast
4 tablespoons warm water (45 C)
1 lemon, juiced and zested
225ml (8 fl oz) semi skimmed milk
100g (4 oz) butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
100g (4 oz) caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
500g (1 1/4 lb) plain flour
1 dessertspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons caster sugar
75g (3 oz) chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g (4 oz) icing sugar
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Method Prep:1hr › Cook:30min › Ready in:1hr30min
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water and let stand until creamy, about 15 minutes. Zest and juice the lemon; set juice aside for later use.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast mixture, milk, butter, salt, 100g sugar, eggs, lemon zest and 1/2 of the flour. Stir until smooth and well combined. Mix in the remaining flour a little at a time, stirring well after each addition.
When the dough has come together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny; about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth 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 into a rectangle approximately 30x60cm (12x24 in). In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon, remaining sugar and pecans; 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. Use a little water to help you seal the ends.
Place the ring on a lightly greased baking tray. 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 centre of the ring. Cover the roll with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 190 C / Gas mark 5.
Bake the tea ring for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Remove the ring from the oven, place on a rack to cool.
Place the lemon juice in a small bowl along with the vanilla. Add 1/2 of the icing sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Continue adding icing sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is fairly thick but still pourable. Drizzle the icing over the cooled ring.