Best Christmas bread recipe?
Can anyone suggest a great traditional yeast bread to make for Christmas? I was thinking of panettone, but don't want to buy a special pan.
You can bake it in any kind of pan with various side heights. But to get the traditional shape, you'll need a cylinder-shaped pan that is tall enough to shape the sides, but short enough to get that little pouf on top. Paper bags (greased, sturdy ones) would work. We used to use coffee cans, back in the days when we bought our coffee already ground.
For panettone you can bake in a well-buttered brown paper bag. It gives it a wonderfully rustic look and, I'm guessing, is probably molto authentico.
But if you're looking for something that you can form on a cookie sheet and really enjoy, try this:
Sour Cream Babka
Recipe By: LA Times Food Section paraphrased by rainey
Makes two loaves
• 1 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 3 cup all purpose flour
• 3 1/2 cup bread flour
• 2 packets active dry yeast
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup warm water
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 cup sour cream
• 2 egg
• 1 egg yolks
• 2 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 drops lemon oil
• 2 drops orange oil
• 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
• 1/4 cup butter, softened and cut into bits
• 1 to 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 2 to 3 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 1/2 cup walnuts , coasely chopped
• golden raisins
• 1 egg
• 1 egg yolks
• 2 tablespoon water
• 2 teaspoon coarse sanding sugar
Directions paraphrased by rainey:
Dough: Cobine butter and flours with the dough hook of a stand mixer. When they're well combined they will resemble coarse crumbs.
Combine remaining dough ingredients. Stir into flour mixture and form a soft dough. Additional flour can be added to achieve a soft but handle-able dough. Knead 5-6 minutes. Put dough in a greased bowl, turn to completely coat the dough and cover. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Punch down dough. Divide into 2 portions. On a floured work surface, Roll each into a 14x10 inch rectangle.
Assembly: Lightly butter each rectangle and sprinkle with remaining filling ingredients. Roll long end up into a jelly roll. Butt ends and press together to form wreaths. **Place each into well-greased tube or angel food pans. If you wish, slash tops to expose filling as the cakes bake.
Give egg, yolk, a dash of granulated sugar and water a brisk stir to combine. Brush dough with egg wash. Cover lightly with tea towels. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Brush again with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Place cake pans on a large baking sheet to protect the bottom crusts from overbrowning and bake at 350 degrees until done, about 1 hour. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
** Rainey's note: There are a million ways to shape these loaves.
The wreaths can be formed on parchment and transferred to baking sheets. Slice 2/3 of the way through the wreaths as if you were slicing off cinnamon buns. Roll alternate "slices" left and right.
The wreaths can be twisted into figure 8's or twisted several time into a "cable". With a very sharp knife, slice into the layers of filling along what would be the top surface of the extended log of dough.
Smaller portions of dough can be baked in mini loaf pans or corregated paper "pans" or mini brioche cups. Adjust baking time as needed.
The "King Arthur 200th Anniv. Cookbook" has excellent illustrations of the many possibilities.
We always make a stollen. But ours is different than traditional - no candied fruit. My family's version is plain yeasted bread surrounding a filling of toasted nuts cooked with brown sugar and butter, which is ground, then mixed with a high quality jam. The whole stollen is then glazed with a standard powdered sugar-based glaze. It's soooo good. I can post a recipe if you want when I get home tonight from work.
oh id love the recipe if you would post it! im trying to make some good gifts to give for christmas and i dont know which bread to make! i definitely want something thats sort of sweet. i was considering a pannetone but ive heard they're difficult and i honestly cant find a recipe that seems too amazing.
id love suggestions!