I do not really make the yeasted dough any more. That was my conviction until some time ago, I am baking cakes based on nut flours, with low IG, just not to raise the glucose levels. That was my conviction until I saw this Hokkaido milk bread Aimee from Twigg Studios made. Oh boy, was it delicate and fluffy, just like the floss candy. I could not believe my eyes. What more my father loves yeasted dough and I started making these for him. I tell you even if I should not eat it, I can not resist. It is incredible.
Pour milk into a measuring glass or small bowl; sprinkle yeast and a pinch of demerrara sugar over milk. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. While the yeast is raising make the tangzhong: in a small sauce pan add the water and flour and whisk until no lumps remain. Heat over low heat whisking constantly until the mixture resembles a roux. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Whisk egg, salt, vanilla extract with the remaining demerrara sugar and condensed milk in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in yeast mixture and butter. Combine 2 and ½ cups flour in the bowl. Add liquid mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until almost incorporated, about 30 seconds. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until very smooth or mix in a mixer with the dough hook, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1½–2 hours, then chill for 45 minutes or up to 12 hours. You may roll the dough out after the first raise, smear it with soft butter, roll it then roll it out again and roll it the second time. And then chill the dough, this way you will have laminated dough. Make frangipane: blitz the egg with butter and toasted almonds until smooth, then add almond extract, set aside until needed.
Preheat oven to 350°. Generously butter a 10 inch round pan.
Turn out the chilled dough onto a clean lightly floured surface. Roll out to a 22×12″ rectangle and orient so a long side is facing you. Using an offset spatula, spread almond filling over dough to extend to the edges. Roll up dough away from you like a jelly roll, pulling lightly on it as you roll to maintain thickness then cut into 9 3-inch pieces. Set the dough upright into the buttered round cake pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes. You may insert buttered round form in the middle for the wreath like result of the cake. Whisk egg in a small bowl and brush egg wash over loaf. Bake the cake, rotating pan halfway through, until golden brown, 45–50 minutes.
Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool the bread in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack, running a paring knife around edges to help loosen if needed. Let cool completely before drizzling with melted white chocolate and scattering cranberries and rosemary needles on top.