Making Christmas Holiday Breads From Around the World
There are perhaps as many traditional recipes for Christmas breads as there are bakers of it. Nothing can match the smell of sweet bread baking, to bring back the good memories of love and warmth and enjoyment of family and friends around you at this time of year. Breads like these tend to be more hearty, with lots of fruits, nuts, spices and a little sweeter to eat, generally served with hot chocolate and cut super thin. They also make great gifts for friends, neighbours and anyone who just enjoy good eating. Of course, with your Bosch Universal Plus Mixer you can make all these recipes without a lot of trouble and almost no work! The majority of these recipes are also made with whole wheat flour that we have milled fresh in our outstanding grain mill, the NutriMill Plus Grain Mill.
We are going to start with Holiday Orange Loaves from Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. This recipe is chewy and dark with exceptional flavour, and has no dairy products--unusual for holiday baking. It keeps very well, retaining its goodness as long as a week under good storage conditions. The biggest problem people have making this is altering the order of the ingredients. Yeast does not like to be mixed with acidic liquids so we keep them apart until the very last moment.
Holiday Orange Loaves - Click here for printable recipe
Take 1 cup walnuts, chopped and toast lightly in the oven. Place 1 cup raisins and 1 cup boiling water in a saucepan and simmer for 5 min. Drain immediately and set aside adding enough water to make up to 1 cup raisin water.
Dissolve 1 Tbsp. Saf yeast, in 1/2 cup warm water. Separately mix 1/4 cup of honey or Xagave, 1 cup orange juice, 2 Tbsp. oil, and the raisin water in the Bosch Universal bowl equipped with the dough hook. (this recipe could also be made in the Slicer/Shredder bowl with the new mini-dough hook) Add 2 cups freshly ground hard wheat flour ( we use the NutriMill grain mill to mill our flour) , 2 1/2 tsp. of salt and 2 Tbsp. orange zest. Turn on speed one and let mix for 30 sec. and then add remaining 2 more cups of wheat flour and then the yeast mixture. Continue to add 1 -2 more cups of whole wheat flour until the bowl begins to clean around the sides. This is a small recipe so be light with the flour as it will be fairly sticky but as it continues to knead will get drier. Let knead 5 to 6 min. until gluten is developed. Cover and let rest in a warm place for 15 min. and then add raisins and walnuts and let knead another 5 min. Divide into 2 and shape them into rounds and let them rest covered until relaxed. Make pretty round hearth loaves or two 8"x4'" pan loaves. Set them in their own warm place to rise and then bake at 375 degrees F. for 55 min. until done.
Pannetone Bread - Here is a great recipe for the Italian Christmas favorite also done with fresh ground whole wheat from the NutriMill Plus grain mill. Pannetone is a traditional Italian Christmas bread that originates from Milan and is popular throughout the world at this season. Here is our recipe for this great Whole Wheat Pannetone that has a wonderful cake-like texture and a great fruity taste. Click here for a printable copy.
Another great coffee-cake like bread is a Danish Pastry Christmas Wreath with an almond paste filling. What a great treat for Christmas morning or when you are trying to impress the in-laws or visitors to your home for the holidays. We have included several fillings for the Danish Pastry recipe so you can choose whatever turns your fancy and still have a great looking as well as great tasting bread. Click here for a printed copy of the Danish Pastry. we make the wreath by braiding 3 ropes of dough and joining them in a circle. Click here for several filling suggestions.
After spending a year and a half in Slovakia, we couldn't leave out the traditional Slovak Whole Wheat Christmas bread or Vionocka. We loved the chewiness of this hearty bread, made with eggs, raisins, and almonds. Again, thin slices of this bread would be a good choice for snacks or luncheons. Click here for a printable version.
Christmas Anise Bread is another one of our favorites with the flavour of licorice throughout this pungent loaf. Again this is a very traditional bread from the Scandinavian Countries with an old-world flavour and texture that would please any bread critic. Click here for our Bosch Universal Version of this classic.
Finally we couldn't leave out a North American favorite, Eggnog Bread, which actually isn't a yeast bread but a quick bread instead. The eggnog gives it a wonderful smell, with a hint of cinnamon, and a sweetness that we wouldn't achieve from using just milk or buttermilk. Again it makes a great gift and because it a quick bread it is fast to make. Click here for a printable recipe for Eggnog Bread