Instructions

  1. For the dough: Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients in the order listed in a large bowl, mixing until combined and a soft dough forms. Knead by hand for 8 to 10 minutes, or at low speed in a mixer with a dough hook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the dough is satiny and elastic.
  2. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  3. For the filling: In a small bowl, mix the butter, sugar and vanilla. Set aside Combine the dried cranberries (or fruitcake blend) and brandy (or orange juice) and set aside to soak.
  4. To assemble: Deflate the risen dough and roll out to a 14" x 26" rectangle. Spread with the butter mixture, leaving 1" of one long edge uncovered. Sprinkle the butter with the soaked fruit, orange peel, and chopped almonds. Sprinkle with the flour.
  5. Roll up the dough toward the uncovered edge, pinching it to seal. Grease a 10" ring pan, or a line a baking sheet with parchment.
  6. Slice the log of dough lengthwise and turn the cut sides up. Pinch one end together and carefully place one half over the other, keeping the cut side up.
  7. Fit the dough into the ring mold or shape into a circle on the baking sheet. Weave the ends together.
  8. Cover and let rise till puffy, about 45 minutes. Toward the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  9. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned at the edges and the center reads 190°F when measured with a digital thermometer. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes before glazing.
  10. For the glaze: Combine all the ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled bread.
  11. Store covered on the counter for up to 3 days, or freeze for longer storage.
  12. Yield: one large circular loaf, 16 servings.