Cornucopia Of Bread

Sunday January 11, 2015

The directions for creating this cornucopia is adapted from Woman’s Day magazine, September 2007. While I made my cornucopia from French bread dough, I will leave the instructions for using refrigerated breadstick dough in case you don’t have time to make the dough from scratch. You can fill the cornucopia as the season dictates; it is always impressive. I filled mine with blood red roses, leather fern, and the spindle-shaped French rolls.

Makes 1 cornucopia

Photo: Wendell Webber

Photo: Wendell Webber

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe French Bread a la Bread and Roses dough, risen and punched down, or 3 tube cans (11 oz each) refrigerated soft breadstick dough
  • Egg Glaze: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl with a fork

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a large 14- by 17-inch baking sheet (half sheet size) with parchment.
  2. Form the Cornucopia: Tear off a 30 x 18-inches. sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Fold in half to 18 x 15 inches. Roll diagonally to form a hollow cone about 18 inches long with a diameter of 6 inches at the wide end. Fasten the end with tape. Stuff the cone with crumpled regular foil until form is rigid and bend the tail of cone up to form a curve. Spray the outside of cone with nonstick cooking spray. Place on the baking sheet.
  3. Divide the risen French bread dough into 3 equal portions; divide each into 6 portions. If using the premade breadstick dough, open and unroll 1 can of dough on work surface and separate the breadsticks. Gently roll with hands on work surface until dough pieces are about 18 in. long. Begin by wrapping 1 piece of dough around tip of cone. Tuck end under, then press on another piece of dough. Continue spiral-wrapping cone, slightly overlapping dough, until the form is completely covered. There will be 6 portions of dough or breadsticks left. This will be used to form the decorative braid around the opening of the cornucopia.
  4. Have the dough portions about 12 inches in length. Place 3 pieces of dough side by side on your work surface. Pinch the end to attach the dough portions together, then braid a three-stand braid, attaching remaining 3 breadstick or dough to first 3 by pressing ends together. Continue to braid to make one long braid. If the braid is too long, just compress a bit; if it is too short, gently pull to expand it. Brush around opening of cornucopia with the egg glaze. Gently press the braid onto the opening. Brush entire cornucopia with the egg glaze. This will make it shiny.
  5. Immediately place in the oven; the dough will not rise. Bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until bread is a rich brown. (If parts start to darken too much, tent with foil.)
  6. Remove from oven and place the baking sheet on a wire rack; let cool completely. Gently remove the foil from inside the cornucopia when cool. (If freezing, leave foil in bread for support. Can be baked 1 month ahead. Cool, wrap in plastic then foil and freeze. To defrost, totally unwrap and let stand at room temperature. Remove the foil when thawed.) If transporting the cornucopia, remove the foil when ready to decorate. Can be made the day before.
  7. Place the cornucopia on a large platter, a woven mat, a runner, or directly on the table. Remove the foil, if necessary, and fill with the little rolls, greenery, and flowers, or fruits such as tangerines and grapes. Let the contents spill out of the opening.

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