Spiced fruit, pistachio and poppy seed crown

A royally good bakes for Purim


Queen Esther is one of the most popular characters for fancy dress at Purim, so I have created a bread "crown". It can be made in advance and frozen.


For the dough

● 250ml milk
● 50g butter, cubed
● 450g strong plain flour
● 7g dried yeast
● 50g golden caster sugar
● ½ tsp salt
● 1 egg, beaten to glaze

For the filling

● 250g dried mixed fruit
● 2 tsp cinnamon
● 2 tsp mixed spice
● Zest and juice 1 lemon
● Zest and juice 1 orange
● 50g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
● 100g butter, softened
● 2 tbsp poppy seeds
● 2 tbsp golden caster sugar


● For the dough: warm the milk in a pan - do not let it boil. Add the butter and set aside.

● Tip the flour, yeast, sugar and salt into a large bowl.

● When the milk has cooled to room temperature add to the flour mixture.

● Mix the dough with an electric mixer until soft. Transfer it to a lightly oiled clean bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.

● For the filling: place the mixed fruit, cinnamon, mixed spice, zest and juice in a pan. Boil for 5 minutes so the fruit absorbs the liquid and becomes soft.

● Leave the mixture to cool then add the pistachios, butter, poppy seeds and sugar.

● When the dough has risen, knock back the air and roll out to a 45 cm x 28 cm rectangle on a lightly floured work surface.

● Spread the fruit mixture over the dough.

● From one of the long edges, roll the dough up into a tight cylinder, then bring the two ends to meet in a ring.

● Transfer to a tray lined with baking parchment.

● Cut incisions with a sharp knife around the outside of the dough, about 3 cm apart, in a sunburst pattern, close to the centre but not through it.

● Working your way around the outside, pull each piece of dough out slightly, then push one side down so the cut edge is exposed to create a fan shape around the edge. (See picture.)

● Brush with egg and prove for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

● Heat oven to 200°C.

● Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden and hollow sounding when tapped on the base.

● Cool on a rack before eating warm or cold.

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