Best Christmas bread recipes

 

In the run up to this year’s Christmas celebrations, I wanted to share some of my favourite festive Christmas bread recipes. The list below features some of my own recipes as well as breads posted by fellow food writers and bloggers.

Tipsy Christmas Stollen
Tipsy Christmas Stollen

Bread can play an integral part at various festive meal occasions and I have therefore divided my write-up into three categories: sweet breads, centre pieces and dinner rolls.

I wanted to make sure that savoury breads feature in this list as much as sweet breads. Other collections of Christmas bread recipes tend to favour rich, sweet breads over other bread varieties. As a huge fan of savoury food, I tried to include other bread options to help you put together a balanced festive bread plan 😉

Sweet Christmas Bread Recipes

Sweet Christmas breads are of course still a core focus point for festive preparations. Starting with my favourite recipes for sweet Christmas breads, here are some options which are both tasty and fun to bake.

  1. Chocolate Panettone by Bread & Companatico – This panettone bread is based on natural leaven (pasta madre) which is the traditional stiff sourdough Italian bakers tend to use and flavoured with the grated zest of organic lemons and oranges. I don’t usually add the candied citrus and orange peel as suggested in the recipe.
  2. Weihnachtsbrot by Ploetzblog (in German) – A recipe that uses a cinnamon-spiced baked apple puree, cinnamon, almonds as well as a range of spices for a juicy loaf of bread that goes well with butter and jam.
  3. Christmas Fruit Bread by Andrew Whitley – Using an overnight sponge and a rum-soaked fruit and nut mix, this bread is a more traditional option.
  4. Julebolle by Trine Hahnemann – Scroll down to the Julebolle recipe for Christmas Danish with spices and raisins (I tend to leave out the candied peel). Serve with blue cheese.
  5. Christmas Stollen – My own recipe for a Christmas Stollen made with all natural ingredients and homemade pistachio marzipan.

Festive Bread Centre Pieces

Next, think about your festive table setting. Whether you’re planning Christmas dinner or a special afternoon tea, bring it all together with a stunning bread centrepiece. Try one of the following options.

  1. Christmas Star Twisted Bread Recipe – Gorgeous sweet bread swirled with jam. If you’re serving afternoon tea, this will be your show stopper.
  2. Decoratively shaped and cut baguettes – Flour. Water. Yeast. Salt. These four simple ingredients comprise the baguette. The fifth ingredient – time – makes this beautiful loaf. Decorative cuts and shaping add flair.
  3. Orange & Anise Snowflake Bread – Best served for brunch or simply with a strong cup of coffee or tea.
  4. Filled brioche centrepiece with baked Camembert – This is an impressive option for a rich festive starter.

Christmas Dinner Rolls

Celebrating Christmas in Austria, my mum serves parsley-crusted rainbow trout with potatoes, butterhead lettuce and Austrian bread rolls for dinner on Christmas Eve. If you’re also looking to enhance your Christmas meal with some delicious homemade dinner rolls, here are some good recipe options.

  1. Sourdough rolls – Delicious and equally suitable for breakfast and dinner
  2. Austrian Handsemmeln (in German) – Semmeln are the most popular Austrian bread rolls and this recipe shows you how to craft Semmeln by hand. A recipe for beautifully simple artisanal rolls.
  3. Austrian Salzstangerl – Not strictly speaking rolls, but small Austrian breads decorated with salt and caraway seeds.

How did bread enhance your Christmas celebrations? Share your festive bread notes and pics in the comments below!

Buckwheat English Muffins Bread Recipe

 

I love buckwheat flour pancakes for my weekend breakfast, so I decided to add some buckwheat flour into my English breakfast muffin recipe. It works a treat! The buckwheat flavours come through very subtly and the dominance of strong white wheat flour ensures the muffins get a good rise and come out with a soft, even and well structured crumb. So if you’re looking for English muffin recipe ideas with a twist, these buckwheat English muffins are an easy and tasty way to start.

Buckwheat English Muffins
Buckwheat English Muffins

Buckwheat English Muffins Recipe

Prepare the dough on the evening before you’d like to serve the muffins for breakfast. You can keep the dough in the fridge overnight. Take the muffin dough out of the fridge an hour before you need it and – one hour later – you can sit down to enjoy your beautifully flavoursome buckwheat flour English muffins.

English Muffins with Buckwheat Flour
English Muffins with Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat flour muffins ingredients

  • 350g strong white bread flour
  • 150g buckwheat flour
  • 7g salt
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 275g water
English Muffins Buckwheat Flour
English Muffins Buckwheat Flour

How to make buckwheat English muffins

Day 1 – evening

  1. Combine all ingredients and form a dough.
  2. Place in a bowl, cover with a lid and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
  3. Punch down the dough in the bowl, cover with the lid again and place in the fridge overnight.

Day 2 – morning

  1. Take the dough out of the fridge and leave to warm up to room temperature for about an hour.
  2. Turn the dough out onto your work surface and roll out to about 2 cm thick.
  3. Cut out six muffins with a straight-sided cutter, 9cm in diameter.
  4. Lightly dust part of your work surface with fine semolina.
  5. Place the muffins on the semolina layer, ensure you keep some space between them as they will expand slightly.
  6. Turn the muffins once to ensure both the top and bottom are covered in semolina.
  7. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat a heavy-based frying pan on the hob at a very low heat. Place the muffins on the hot frying pan plate and cover the pan with a lid, to capture the heat.
  9. Toast the muffins for approximately 5-10 minutes (keep an eye out to prevent burning), then flip over and griddle for another 5-10 minutes on the other side. I use a thermometer to ensure the inside temperature of the dough has reached 94°C which means the muffins are fully baked through.
  10. Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.