Citrus Twist Bread

March 29, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by Tim Morrish
  • Prep time 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

This lovely twist bread with a sweet-tart citrus filling makes an excellent brunch treat, served warm with a steaming cup of milky coffee. I like it dusted lightly with confectioners’ sugar, but a simple glaze of room temperature cream cheese mixed with some warm milk and confectioners’ sugar makes a decadent drizzle.

This bread is best the day it’s made, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Just make sure to always warm the leftovers before serving.
Samantha Seneviratne

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with Miele. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Citrus Twist Bread
  • For the dough:
  • 1/3 cup warm whole milk (110°F)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • For the filling and to finish the bread:
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated grapefruit zest
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
  1. In a small bowl, combine the milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, or a large bowl, combine the remaining sugar, flour, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the yeast mixture, the egg, and the egg yolk, and mix until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (Alternatively, knead this mixture by hand on a clean work surface.)

    Add the butter, a bit at a time, and continue to mix or knead the dough until the butter is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth, another 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky. If you’re doing this by hand, you can use a bench scraper to help scoop the dough up as you knead it. It may look like it’s never going to incorporate, but keep kneading and it will. Once the dough is fully incorporated, gather it into a neat ball and place in a bowl.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set aside to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 to 2 hours. (After the dough has doubled, you can punch it down, wrap it well and refrigerate for up to 2 to 3 days.)

    Note: If you have a Miele Combi-Steam Oven, use the “Proofing Mode” and allow the bread to rise until doubled. When using this mode, the oven is set to 85°F and uses just the right amount of moisture for optimal results.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a small bowl, grind the orange zest, lemon zest, grapefruit zest, and sugar together using your fingers to release some of the citrus oils. Add the butter and the salt, and mix until well combined.
  5. Tip the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and knead it once or twice to expel the air. Roll it out into an 8-inch by 17-inch rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the surface of the bread. Starting from one of the long ends, roll the dough up into a tight coil. Pinch the ends to seal the roll. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise. Transfer the two pieces of dough to a piece of parchment paper, cut sides up. Pinch the two pieces together at one end and then carefully twist the two pieces of dough together. Take care not to stretch the dough and to keep the cut sides up.

    Coil the twist around to make a wreath and connect the ends, making sure to continue the twisting pattern. Transfer the wreath, on the parchment, to a rimmed baking sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise. It could take up to 2 hours for the wreath to puff so it’s better to keep an eye on the dough rather than the clock. You’ll know it’s ready when it looks puffed and and it rises back slowly when you gently press it with your finger.

    Note: If you have a Miele Combi-Steam Oven, use the “Proofing Mode” and allow the bread to rise there.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Carefully brush the wreath with the egg wash. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. A thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the bread should register between 190°F and 200°F. Transfer the wreath to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

    Note: If you have a Miele Combi-Steam Oven, use the “Convection Bake Mode” and add a manual burst of steam at the beginning of the bake. Reduce the baking time to about 20 minutes.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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    Tanya Mur

9 Reviews

Franca May 2, 2022
This was delicious.
Sum T. April 22, 2021
Made this twice now and both times a little more brown than your picture. Maybe it only needs 15 minutes in my oven. Otherwise, great bread to bring to a tea party or just as a treat. Thanks for the recipe and tips.
Dianne V. April 5, 2021
Wow! Is this delicious. Made it as the adult dessert for Easter dinner, but even the kids LOVED it. The brioche bread was soft & tender - almost cavelike. The citrus filling just delicious. Samantha is correct when she says the best part is the crackly edges from the brown, melted sugar/citrus filling. I will make this again & again. Now, what should I do with the leftover oranges & grapefruit now that I've removed their rind???
Fiona April 2, 2021
Thought this recipe was great, but true to the video my dough took a long time to rise (3 hours and it hadn't really doubled) so I proofed it longer once shaped the next morning (but this lost the hole in the centre). Texture and taste of the bread is delicious, but I found the zest mixture a tad bitter - think next time I will sub for cinnamon sugar or hazelnut chocolate. Loved the wreath look and this is a beautiful showstopper bread for tea or brunch!
cocoloco April 2, 2021
How can one double the recipe?
mellowbaker March 29, 2021
I had trouble shaping mine into a wreath, turned out more like a braided challah, once it rose there was no hole in the center - I don’t think I rolled the dough quite thin enough. No matter, super delicious and cooked in the same amount of time. Great recipe.
Tanya M. March 28, 2021
Can I just use two eggs instead of one egg and one egg yolk? Will it make that much of a difference?
Dianne V. April 5, 2021
If you add a whole egg versus just the yolk, you'll be adding the protein in the whites. That can mess up the chemistry of the bread causing it to be tougher. Adding just the yolk adds extra fat.
Annabelle March 24, 2021
Can you refrigerate this overnight after forming the wreath? If so would it rise enough to be baked from cold?