Advent wreaths have been a feature of the lead-up to Christmas for as long as I can remember. Made out of salt dough, the wreath holds four candles, one for each Sunday in December. As each Sunday comes around, you light that Sunday’s candle and keep it alight during dinner every night that week. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you light all of the candles. It’s a good way to make all of December a special time, as well as Christmas Day itself.
1. Make your salt dough. I used a recipe from Taste.com, found here. . It calls for
– 1 1/2 cups of plain flour
– 1/2 cup of salt
– 1 tablespoon of oil
– 2/3 cup of chilled water.
You mix the dry ingredients, add the oil, then slowly add the water, mixing all the time until you have a dough. After experimenting, I would recommend using the ‘chilled water’ specified…anything else makes a gloopy mess!
2. Knead your dough until it is slightly shiny and doesn’t stick to the bench. This works the oil through and makes the finished wreath smooth and easy to make.
3. Break your dough into two pieces, one about 4/5 of the total dough, the other 1/5 of the total. The bigger piece will be your wreath body, the other part the decoration.
To make the wreath body, roll the larger section into a long cylinder and join to make a circle. Place your wreath body onto a tray covered with grease-proof paper and, with a candle, poke candle sized holes into four ‘corners’ of the circle.
4. Decorate your wreath! I made leaves and berries out of the smaller section of dough, and rolled tiny cylinders to outline the candle holes.
5. Pop your wreath into the oven at about 120 degrees Celsius, and bake until it is hard and sounds hollow when you tap it. My wreath took about 90 minutes in the oven until it was cooked. Then take it out, let it cool, and put your candles into the candle holes. I decorated my wreath with some dried flowers around the edges.