When you think of Christmas, what comes to mind? A bedecked tree, a crackling fire, a fresh snowfall? For me, Christmas is anything cranberry-orange and these twists are just like Christmas dreams.
I’m especially excited about this recipe because the idea came to me a full minute after I posted my cinnamon raisin twists. I’ve been waiting (impatiently) ever since to bake these beauties and I hope you’ll do the same.
You may just find the intoxicating aroma perfuming the kitchen worth the work, though these twists are not too burdensome. The no-knead buttermilk dough mixes together in about a minute and if you’re short on time, you can store it in the fridge up to a week. I can’t think of a busier month than December, so that kind of flexibility is a must!
Irresistible pull-aparts are your reward, dotted with plump dried cranberries, perfumed with cinnamon and topped with a flurry of orange-sugar. Sweet and scrumptious, these twists are perfect for holiday brunches or simply a weekend treat. Enjoy! (You can also view my story on Steller.)
- 1 cup water (228 grams)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature (120 grams)
- 1/2 Tbsp Red Star PLATINUM Yeast
- 1/2 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 3 1/4 cups flour (460 grams)
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp fresh orange zest
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp fresh orange zest
- 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp fresh orange juice
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- pinch of salt
- Heat water in a microwave-safe measuring cup for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until very warm (120-130°F). Combine warm water, buttermilk, yeast, salt, and sugar in a 3-quart bowl. Gradually mix in flour with a dough whisk or wooden spoon, just until combined. Cover bowl loosely with plastic and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, place the covered dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours, or up to 5 days (Dough can also be frozen in 1-pound portions up to three weeks and thawed for 24 hours in the refrigerator before using). When ready to bake, line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and flour board or counter well.
- Use a floured bench scraper to scrape dough out onto board. Dust dough with flour and use floured hands to quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating dough as you go.
- Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll dough into an 8 x 16-inch rectangle. Brush dough with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Pulse sugar and orange zest in a food processor for 1 minute. Sprinkle orange-sugar over dough, reserving 3 tablespoons for topping. Sprinkle cinnamon over dough and top with cranberries; press gently into dough with rolling pin.
- Carefully fold dough in half, pressing seams with rolling pin to seal. Dust dough with flour and roll out to an 8 x 16-inch rectangle. Use a sharp knife to cut into 13 or 14 strips; twist strips and place on prepared baking sheets, curving the ends in opposite directions (if any cranberries fall out, tuck them back into dough). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes. In the last 10 minutes, preheat oven to 350°F. Gently brush twists with remaining 1 tablespoon butter and sprinkle with remaining orange-sugar. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, for 24 to 25 minutes, until golden. Cool for 3 minutes on baking sheets before removing to cooling racks.
- For the glaze, whisk together melted butter, orange zest, orange juice, powdered sugar, and salt until smooth. Set rack with twists over a piece of wax paper. Drizzle glaze over twists; let set before serving. Leftover twists can be stored overnight at room temperature; warm briefly before serving.