La Corona

La Corona

Meal type Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Misc Freezable
Region Italian
By author Lina Bifano

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ¾ cup warm milk
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

For the date, raisin, and pecan filling:

  • 1-2 cup Grand Marnier™
  • ¾ cup raisins (red or white)
  • 10-15 dates chopped into ¼” pieces
  • 2/3 all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cup chopped pecans (crunchy, not finely chopped)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • Zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 1 stick butter (room temperature)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon almond extract

For the icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier™
  • 2 tablespoons water

For the icing: (Optional)

  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

For the dough:
Beforehand:
In a small container, place the dates and raisins in the Grand Marnier™ to soak.

Prepare the dough:
If preparing the dough and not assembling until later, use the largest mixing bowl you can find.
Dissolve the yeast packet in the warm water and let it sit until it bubbles and foams. This can take up to two minutes. Incorporate the rest of the ingredients, but not yet the flour. Once all of the other ingredients are well blended, add the flour, one cup at a time, until you have a ball of dough that is only barely sticky to the touch. You might not have to incorporate all 4 cups of flour.

On a lightly floured countertop, knead your dough for approximately 10 minutes, or use the dough hook on your mixer. It is done when it has achieved a smooth appearance and is no longer sticky to the touch. Oil your original mixing bowl lightly, place the dough in it and cover it with plastic wrap. Do not refrigerate. Warmer is better. At this point, if you’ve got to leave to go to work, you can, and you can assemble the final product when you get back. In approximately 2 hours, it should have doubled in size. If you get home from work and you find that it’s the size of the bowl it’s in, no problem, just punch it down and re-knead briefly it until it’s a workable size.

Prepare the filling:
Drain the raisins and dates, reserving the Grand Marnier™ for another time. Taste a few. Try not to eat them all. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and incorporate the butter, cutting it in using your hands. Refrigerate for approximately 10 minutes.

Assembling the corona:
Preheat your oven to its lowest setting, usually 160°

Turn the dough out on a floured countertop. Roll it into a 12x30 inch rectangle. While crumbling the filling in your hand, spread it over the rectangle; trying to make sure it is covered evenly, up to ½ inch of the edges. Starting with the longer edge, tightly roll the dough, jellyroll style.

Using a sharp knife, slice the roll in half lengthwise. This will expose the layers of dough and the filling, giving you two long sections. Turn them out so the filling sides are facing up and twist them around one another all the way down to the ends. Turn both ends towards each other, making a circle. Overlap the ends so that the corona takes shape and looks like a ring.

Carefully place the corona on a parchment-lined baking sheet (it helps if you place each side in your two hands and plop it down quickly). Let it sit in your oven at its lowest setting for approximately 30 minutes. This may take a little finesse.

Preheat your oven to 350°
Cook until lightly browned, approximately 30 minutes, checking after 25 minutes, as cooking times may vary. Place on a cooling rack.

Assemble the icing and drizzle over the corona while it is still slightly warm.


Tips:
The corona can be frozen once completely cooled, without icing by wrapping it in plastic wrap, then foil. When ready to serve (or gift), place uncovered in a 350° oven for approximately 10 minutes and drizzle with the icing mixture. Enjoy!
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