Last week I shared a Christmas Tree Bread I have been making for years and years. Some of you asked for the recipe I use for the sweet bread. For more instructions and recipe for filling and icing, click HERE.
Ever since I was a young woman, just learning to make yeast bread, I have been referring time and time again to an old Farm Journal cookbook called Homemade Bread. I have the 1969 First Edition and it shows! It’s one of those cookbooks that has flour and grease and who knows what else splattered across many of the pages and it’s filled with divine recipes!
The cover is ripped in half and
the pictures inside are quite dated
But isn’t that what makes for a good cookbook? I see a newer version is listed here on Amazon.
The recipe I use is a method called Coolrise Sweet Dough. It’s perfect to use during the holidays when so many other things are going on. You can start your bread but you don’t have to complete it to the finish on that very day. This recipe allows you to bake the refrigerated dough at the time that suits your schedule. It has a great, yeasty flavor and a fine and even texture with a golden brown crusts. Plus if you fix this for a breakfast or brunch, your friends will smell fresh bread baking as they walk in the door since you can bake this the next morning. What could be more inviting?
Coolrise Sweet Dough
5 to 6 c. all purpose flour
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. softened butter
1 1/2 c. hot tap water
2 eggs (at room temp)
* Combine 2 c. flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in large bowl. Stir well to blend. Add softened butter.
* Add hot tap water to ingredients in bowl all at once.
* Beat with electric mixer at medium speed 2 minutes. Scrape bowl occasionally.
*Add eggs and 1 c. more flour. Beat with electric mixer at high speed 1 minute, or til thick and elastic. Scrape bowl occasionally.
* Gradually stir in just enough of remaining flour with wooden spoon to make a soft dough that leaves the sides of bowl. Turn onto floured board. Round up into ball.
* Knead 5 to 10 minutes or til dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap, then a towel.
*Let rest 20 minutes on board. Punch down.
*Divide and shape as desired into 2 trees (or 2 1/2 dozen rolls).
*Place in greased pans or on a greased baking sheet.
*Brush surface with oil. Cover pans loosely with plastic wrap.
*Refrigerate 2 to 24 hours. When ready to bake remove from refrigerator. Uncover.
*Let stand 10 minutes while preheating oven.
*Puncture any surface bubbles just before baking.
*Bake in 375* oven 20 to 25 mins. Bake on lower oven rack for best results.
While we are in the kitchen, I would like to share a very easy way to put a centerpiece together using Mother Nature. Your friends (like mine truly did) will be either asking or wondering:
Is it Faux or is it real?
The secret is to just a little of both. Can you tell what is real and what is faux???
This pomegranate is real
While this pomegranate is faux. It may appear more shiny in the picture, but honestly my friend Susan, the designer could not tell. She was asking me about it and actually picked up the fruits to see.
The clementines are real as are the pinecones, but all the evergreen is faux and berries are faux. You want to know another little secret? The addition of reindeer moss makes everything look fresh and simply gorgeous. It has the texture and color that are so appealing in anything! Varying sizes of pinecones and the cinnamon sticks add to the interest of this natural arrangement. All the different colors used come together for such a pretty look. Very Williamsburg, don’t you think?? The good news too is that I put this together in less than five minutes. Everything is just lying in a big white bowl with no foam or glue.
Let me know if you make the Christmas Bread!