Manual/Mixer Method: Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stirring till everything is well-distributed and the dough begins to come away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough, by hand or mixer, for 7 to 9 minutes. The dough should be quite soft; resist the urge to add more flour unless the dough is so sticky you can't work with it at all. A soft dough will produce light buns or bread.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it aside to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours; it should have become puffy, though not necessarily doubled in bulk. This is a rich dough that can be slow to rise, especially in a cool area; give it extra time if needed.
Bread Machine Method: Place all of the ingredients into the pan of your bread machine, program the machine for Manual or Dough, and press Start. About 10 minutes before the end of the final kneading cycle, adjust the consistency of the dough with additional flour or water; it should be smooth and elastic, though still quite soft. Allow the machine to complete its cycle. If the dough hasn't risen noticeably, allow it to remain in the machine for an additional 30 minutes.
Toasted Almond Filling
Mix the almond filling with the water to form a thick but spreadable paste. Add more water if necessary.
Heat the butter and milk together until the butter is melted. Stir in the glaze mix, whisking until the mixture is smooth. Spread or drizzle over the warm buns or wreath.
Assembling and Baking
On a lightly greased or floured work surface, roll the dough into a 14 x 18-inch rectangle. Spread the almond filling mixture over the dough, leaving half an inch uncovered at one short edge, and roll it gently into a log, starting with the opposite short edge. Pinch the seam closed. Cut the log into nine equal slices. Place the slices in a greased 9" x 9" pan, and let the buns rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until they're quite puffy.
Bake the buns in a preheated 350°F oven for 28 to 35 minutes, until they're lightly browned. Remove buns from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before glazing.
Almond-Filled Sweet Bread in a Ring
On a lightly greased or floured work surface, roll the dough into a 14 x 20-inch rectangle. Spread the almond filling mixture over the dough, and roll it gently into a log, starting with a long edge. Pinch the seam closed.
Place the log seam side up into the greased ring or wreath pan. Pinch the ends together. Grease the bottom of a clean sheet pan, and place it right side up on top of the wreath pan. This will keep the dough moist and force the dough into the designs on the pan as it rises. Allow the dough to rise till it has almost doubled. Remove the sheet pan from the top. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 28 to 35 minutes. Allow the filled bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a rack or serving plate. Spread or drizzle with glaze.
In checking with our team, the mix has not been changed at all, but we will be running some tests of our own to see what we can learn. ~ MJR