This is a family recipe, which we never knew where came from.
I don't know if the whole thing was my grandma's idea, or if she saw something like it and made up her own version.
What matters here is that ever since I remember existing, bee hives is a treat present in our christmas, which sometimes she would also prepare in random afternoons.
It's been a couple years since my grandmother passed away, and since then we hadn't cooked the dishes that she used to make. But before I came to Santa Catarina this year (yeeess! I'm here already!) my brother wrote me asking if I could bake the bee hives, because he missed it.
I've tried, and it worked out. So here goes the recipe in case someone feels like having a new christmas tradition. This test-hive was devoured as a snack while still warm. The only thing they said was not the same was the glaze, so except for that the treat was like the original.
For the dough:
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon dry yeast
2/3 cup water, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoon butter, room temperature
(Cup measure: 240ml)
For the filling:
5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons water
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup chopped almonds/ black and white raisins/ sunflower seeds
I stirred all of the dough ingredients in a bowl, using a wooden spoon, until it started to hold up. So I left the spoon aside and started kneading by hand, until I got a smooth glossy dough which wouldn't stick to my hands.
I shaped a ball and greased it lightly with oil. I placed it in a bowl and covered with plastic, letting rest for one hour or until doubled in volume.
I kneaded again, gently, and rolled out the dough as a long rectangle. It should be as thin as possible without tearing (say 3 or 4mm thick).
So i prepared the filling: I beat the butter and water with a fork until the volume increased a bit, added the sugar and continued beating with the fork until I got a fluffy cream.
I set two tablespoons aside and spread the rest over the dough rectangle. On top of that I sprinkled all of the fruits and nuts, then rolling up the dough as shown in the picture above.
I cut the log into 6 or 7cm long pieces and organized them in a 25cm round baking tray, already greased - cut side facing up.
Sometimes my grandma used one of those pans with a hole in the center, maybe it's because it makes the bread look like a wreath...
Well, when that process was finished, I covered the pan and let the bread rise again for one hour (or until doubled in volume). I brushed the remaining butter + sugar mixture on top of it and baked in preheated 180oC oven for about 30 minutes: until they got light brown and fragrant.
Yields 15 individual breads.