Razzle Dazzle Recipes * Christmas Bread Recipes
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Cranberry Orange Nut Bread Recipe

2 C. all-purpose flour
3/4 C. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 C. butter, softened
1 T. grated orange peel (orange part only)
1/4 C. orange juice
1 egg
1 C. fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
1/2 C. chopped nuts
1/2 C. miniature chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350° F. Grease bottom of 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in orange peel, orange juice and egg just until all flour is moistened. Stir in cranberries, nuts and chocolate chips. Spread in pan.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf.

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Christmas Stollen Recipe

12 oz. Golden Raisins
1/4 C. Rum, optional
2 packages Active Dry Yeast
3 C. warm Milk, divided
2/3 C. plus 1 T. Sugar
3 Eggs
1/2 C. Butter
8 - 10 C. All-purpose Flour
1 1/4 t. Salt
3/4 t. Nutmeg
3/4 t. Ground Cinnamon
1 Orange
2 Lemons
1 1/2 C. sliced Almonds
3 C. Assorted Dried Fruit
1/2 C. Glace Cherries
1/4 C. Butter
1/2 C. Powdered Sugar

Soak raisins in rum, or plump in boiling water to cover. Combine yeast, 1 cup warm milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir until dissolved. Mix eggs and remaining 2 cups of milk. Add to yeast mixture.

In large bowl, combine yeast mixture, remaining sugar, butter, 2 cups of flour, salt, nutmeg (preferably freshly grated), cinnamon, grated zest from orange and lemons, almonds, cut-up dried fruit (may be apples, peaches, apricots, pears, prunes or pineapple) and quartered glace cherries. Stir in remaining 6 cups of flour.

Turn out and knead 5-10 minutes, adding flour as needed (up to 1 1/2 cups). If kneading in mixer, knead until dough clings to hook. Wash, dry and lightly grease bowl. Return dough to bowl, cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk (1-2 hours). Punch dough down and knead 3 additional minutes.

Divide and shape into free-form loaves on greased baking sheet. Let rise again (approximately 45 minutes). Bake at 350° F. for 30 - 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Brush tops of warm loaves with melted butter, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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Candy Cane Coffee Cakes Recipe

For Sour Cream Yeast Dough:
2 C. dairy sour cream
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 C. warm water (105 to 115° F)
1/4 C. butter or margarine, softened
1/3 C. sugar
2 t. salt
2 eggs
6 C. all-purpose flour, about

For the cake:
1 1/2 C. finely chopped dried apricots
1 1/2 C. finely chopped maraschino cherries
soft butter or margarine

Thin Icing:
2 C. confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 T. water

For sour cream yeast dough:
Heat sour cream over low heat just until lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Stir in sour cream, butter, sugar, salt, eggs and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make it easy to handle.

Turn dough onto well-floured board. Knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl. Turn once to bring greased side up. Cover. Let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour. To test for rising, stick two fingers in dough. If holes remain but top stays smooth, dough is ready.

Make cake:
Heat oven to 375° F. Punch down dough: Divide into three equal parts.

Roll each part into a rectangle, 15 x 6 inches. Place on greased baking sheet. With scissors, make 2-inch cuts at 1/2-inch intervals on both long sides of the rectangles.

Combine apricots and cherries. Spread 1/3 of the fruit mixture down the center of each of the rectangles. Crisscross strips over the filling. Stretch dough to 22 inches. Curve to form a “cane.”

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. While warm, brush with butter and drizzle canes with Thin Icing. If desired, decorate with cherry halves or pieces.

For thin icing:
Blend 2 cups powdered sugar with about 2 tablespoons water. If icing is too stiff, add water a drop at a time. If too thin, add more powdered sugar a little at a time.

Yield: This recipe makes 3 cakes.

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Double Chocolate Braided Bread

2 packages Dry Yeast
1/2 C. Sugar, divided
2 C. lukewarm Water
3 T. Unsalted Butter, softened
1 large Egg Yolk
About 7 C. All-purpose Flour
1 T. Salt
2 T. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 C. 1/2-inch chunks of Bitter Chocolate or large Chocolate Chips (8 oz.)
Semolina for dusting

Dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the water in the bowl of an electric mixer. Let sit a few minutes, then add the butter and egg yolk and stir with the paddle. Slowly add 6 cups of flour, salt, remaining sugar and cocoa. (Add more flour as necessary.) Change to the mixer's dough hook, and knead until the dough becomes smooth.

Turn the dough onto a floured board, knead the chocolate chunks or chips into the dough, and form into a smooth round. Put in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the dough doubles in bulk.

Punch the dough down and divide into 6 equal parts on a floured board. Let rest for 20 minutes.

Roll 3 pieces of dough into "sausages" about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Line up the 3 pieces side by side, then pinch the ends together. Repeat with the other 3 pieces. Place the 2 loaves on a cookie sheet sprinkled with semolina. Cover with a moist towel and let rise for an hour, until the dough doubles again.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Fill a pan with hot water and place on the lower shelf of the oven. Bake the breads on the upper shelf for 20 minutes. Then lower the oven to 350° F. and bake another 20 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when topped. Serve warm.

Makes 2 loaves.

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Cranberry Scones Recipe

1/4 C. dried cranberries
Grand Marnier to cover cranberries
1 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 T. cold butter, cut in small pieces
1/2 C. heavy cream
3 T. sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp. water

Marinate the cranberries in the Grand Marnier overnight.

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until the texture is sandy. Stir in the cranberries.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the cream and sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Mix the flour and the cream together lightly. Divide dough in half.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each half out to a circle 1/4 inch thick. Cut each circle in four wedges. Place wedges 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine egg and water and brush over wedges.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 8 scones.

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Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe

4 C. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 heaping T. sugar
1 heaping T. cinnamon
1 C. shortening
2 C. sugar
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla
2 C. buttermilk

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

In a large bowl cream together shortening and sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Add buttermilk and the flour mixture. Mix well.

Grease two standard loaf pans. Using half of the batter mix, divide evenly, putting 1/4 in each pan. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cinnamon sugar mix over the batter in each pan and swirl with knife or spatula. Divide the remaining batter between the two pans. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar mix. Swirl to mix.

Bake at 350° F. for about 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Turn out on wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 2 loaf pans

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Christmas Stollen Recipe

1 T. active dry yeast
2/3 C. warm milk (110° F.)
1 large egg
1/3 C. white sugar
1/2 T. salt
1/3 C. butter, softened
2 1/2 C. bread flour
1/3 C. currants
1/3 C. sultana raisins
1/3 C. red candied cherries, quartered
2/3 C. diced candied citron
6 oz. marzipan
1 T. confectioners' sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the egg, white sugar, salt, butter, and 2 cups bread flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has begun to pull together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead in the currants, raisins, dried cherries, and citrus peel. Continue kneading until smooth, about 8 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the marzipan into a rope and place it in the center of the dough. Fold the dough over to cover it; pinch the seams together to seal. Place the loaf, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350° F.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300° F., and bake for a further 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow loaf to cool on a wire rack. Dust the cooled loaf with confectioners' sugar, and sprinkle with the cinnamon.

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Czech Christmas Hoska Recipe

1 (0.6 ounce) cake compressed fresh yeast
1/4 C. warm water
1/2 C. white sugar
1/2 C. butter
1 egg, beaten
1 t. salt
2 C. scalded milk
6 C. all-purpose flour
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground mace
1/8 gram dried orange zest
1/2 C. golden raisins
1/2 C. candied mixed fruit peel
1/2 C. blanched slivered almonds
1 egg yolk
1 T. milk
2 T. confectioners' sugar

Dissolve yeast in warm water.

In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add beaten egg and salt. Stir in cooled milk, and then the yeast. Add l l/2 cups sifted flour; beat to smooth batter. Cover and let rise until light, about one hour.

Stir spices and dried orange zest into the sponge. Add 4 l/2 cups of flour to make a soft dough. Place on a lightly floured board, and knead until smooth and elastic. Knead in raisins and candied peel. Put in a well oiled bowl, and turn once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover. Set aside to rise until double in bulk, about 2 hours.

Divide dough into ten parts, roll into desired lengths, and let rise about l5 minutes. On a heavily greased baking sheet, make a braid of three parts, beginning in the center and working braid loosely toward each end. Pinch ends together. Twist the remaining two pieces together, and place on the base of the braid. In a small bowl, beat together egg yolk and milk; brush the loaf with this mixture. Sprinkle sliced almonds over the loaf. Repeat process for second loaf. Let rise about 45 minutes.

Bake at 350° F. for 45 minutes. Transfer bread to a wire rack, and cool completely. Cover while cooling with a tea towel to make a soft crust. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

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Lemon-Cardamom Loaf Recipe

4 1/2 - 5 C. flour
2/3 C. sugar, divided
2 packages rapid-rise yeast
2 1/2 t. grated lemon peel
1 t. ground cardamom
3/4 t. salt
1/2 C. butter or margarine, divided
1/2 C. water
1/3 C. milk
3 eggs
Powdered sugar to sift over top

In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup of the sugar, undissolved yeast, lemon peel, cardamom and salt. Cut 1/4 cup butter into pieces; heat cut-up butter, water and milk until warm (105-115 degrees). Butter does not need to melt. Stir into dry ingredients. Stir in eggs and enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Cover; let rest on floured surface 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 30 equal pieces; roll into balls. Evenly layer 10 balls in bottom of greased 10-inch tube pan with nonremovable bottom. Melt remaining butter. Drizzle about 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter over balls; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons remaining sugar. Repeat layers twice. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.

Remove from refrigerator; uncover dough and let stand 10 minutes. Bake at 375° F. for 40-40 minutes or until done, covering with foil after 30 minutes to prevent excess browning. Let cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert onto serving plate. Sift powdered sugar over tops and sides of warm loaf. Cool completely.

Makes 1 coffeecake.

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Cheesy Bread Sticks Recipe

1 C. warm milk
2 3/4 C. flour
3 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1 T. active dry yeast
1/4 C. butter
1/3 C. grated sharp cheese
garlic salt

Bread Machine Instructions:
Heat milk to lukewarm (90 - 100° F.). Place milk, flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, yeast, and 2 tablespoons butter in bread machine according manufactures directions or in the order listed. Set machine to dough setting and knead. Machine will knead approximately 10 - 15 minutes. Allow bread to rise in machine until double in bulk.

Hand Instructions:
Heat milk to lukewarm. Add yeast, 3 tablespoons sugar and stir. Soften 2 tablespoons butter and add. Gradually stir in flour and salt until all flour is added. Turn dough out on a slightly floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny and tiny air bubbles form just under the surface of the dough. Place in a clean buttered bowl, cover, place in warm location and allow to rise until double in bulk.
 
Finishing for both Methods:
Remove dough from pan or bowl and knead to remove excess air. Roll dough out on a slightly buttered surface into approximately a 10 x 15 inch rectangle. Soften remaining butter and spread over top of dough. Sprinkle with cheese and garlic salt to taste. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut rectangle into 12 strips. Hold each strip of dough by the ends and twist into 2 - 4 times. Place dough twists on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with additional butter and sprinkle with additional garlic salt, if desired. Allow dough to rise 5 minutes. Bake at 350° F. for 15 - 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Bread Stick Dip:
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/16 t. dried oregano leaves
1/8 t. ground thyme
1/4 t. Italian seasoning
1/8 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. sugar

Combine all ingredients and heat.

Recipes makes 12 breadsticks.

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