Holiday Baking: Yeast Breads Article -
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Christmas Breads

Sample traditional Christmas breads from around the world.

Spread the holiday spirit when you share these delicious breads with your family:

VIDEO: Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Buns >>


    This famous German bread originated in the city of Dresden. Its unusual shape, with its characteristic indentation, was meant to represent the swaddled Christ Child.

    Stollen is made from a very rich but not overly sweet dough that is studded with candied fruits and nuts and may include a ribbon of marzipan down the center. The finished loaf is brushed with clarified butter and rolled in confectioners' sugar.


    Although its beginnings are the subject of many charming legends, the one undisputed fact about Panettone is that it comes from Milan, Italy. It is traditionally a large loaf baked in a round, tall-sided pan. It can be served as a breakfast bread or a dessert.

    Scandinavian Breads

    Scandinavian breads come in fragrant cardamom or saffron-scented braids and rolls.

    Eastern European Breads

    Try these Polish, Czech, and Hungarian yeast bread recipes.

    Other Holiday Yeast Breads

    And last, but certainly not least, cinnamon rolls and other sweet breads.

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      Oct. 1, 2009 9:02 am
      I would love to have suggestions for which breads and cookies are good for freezing ahead of time, how long they can be frozen safely, how to prepare for freezing, etc. I do a lot of baking around the holidays and really would like to do some of it ahead of time.
      Oct. 5, 2009 8:38 am
      Hi Kathleen, most if not all yeast breads can be frozen before the second rising. Wrap well after feezing, let defrost over night in the baking pan, it will be risen, ready to bake in the morning.
      Sarah S. 
      Oct. 21, 2009 10:01 am
      I have personally found that banana bread always freezes well.
      Dec. 22, 2009 10:10 pm
      I'm a little late with this reply, but I can tell you I freeze just about everything. I seldom use zip lock bags. Instead I prefer tightly sealed containers. We used to use Tupperware, but now Rubbermaid has good products as well. I would not be afraid to freeze anything, but plan to use it within 3 months. If I'm baking for gifts, I rarely freeze longer than 3 to 4 weeks. I hope this helps.
      Sydney Flights 
      Dec. 23, 2009 3:35 am
      Nice things have been mentioned. Tia Smith
      Dec. 29, 2009 2:29 pm
      this is the first time i tried to bake bread, but my dough didn't rise. any suggestions
      Bri Van de Kamp 
      Mar. 16, 2010 8:03 pm
      @ John....check your expiration date on your yeast....I always let it sit in a coffee mug of lukewarm water before mixing the rest of the mixture. That way when recipe calls for yeast it has already started processing. Good luck!
      Jun. 12, 2010 2:44 am
      This site is one of the best sites with best recipes. Holiday Travel Bureau
      Aug. 21, 2010 8:14 am
      I'm looking for a braided bread recipe thats filled with cinnamon and pecans there was no fruit in it. this was the best bread I ever ate. a german man made it and I never got the recipe. has any one ever heard of this.
      Dec. 16, 2010 8:39 am
      To those wanting to freeze yeast dough: I have read that it is best to add 1/3 more yeast to the dough you plan to freeze. I don't see on this list my favorite Christmas Bread, Greek Christopsomo. It is a rich lightly sweet bread with crushed anise. Though I am not Greek, it has become a favorite of my family for many years. We also enjoy what my mother called Hungarian Bubble Ring, which I believe she got from an old Red Rose cookbook. It is much like 'Monkey Bread' or sticky buns, but richer and has fruit and nuts sprinkled around the dough balls with cinnamon sugar and butter. To Kathy: You could probably use any sweet bread dough, roll into rectangle (do not punch dough, just lightly press air out with hands) then make cuts 1/3 the way in on each side so you have 1/3 center to put cinnamon, sugar and pecans. Then alternately overlap the cut sides all the way down, fold the last under, let rise and bake. This is called a faux braid. It would be yummy with a sweet glaz
      Dec. 21, 2010 6:51 am
      I make Christmas Braids every year and give them for gifts, and inside each part of the braid is filled with brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts or pecans (either works). I used frozen bread dough, but you could make your own if that's your thing. Roll the thawed dough out into a rectangle, cut into 3 strips. Butter each strip, then fill with the nut/sugar mixture, close the strips, pinching to close. Braid the 3 strips and place on a buttered baking dish to rise. Let it at least double in size, then bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. When cool drizzle with a confectioner sugar and milk glaze, sprinkle with nuts, or colored sugars (very festive and very tasty). Enjoy!
      Dec. 27, 2011 8:26 pm
      better late than never, I see there is a very old question from "John" that his yeast didn't rise. I've used yeast that was way past the "Expiration" date with NO prob. The most common mistake is water too Hot or too Cold. Dough placed in a "cold drafty area". Using a recipe that has a very low gluten % flour (oat, barley, 100% whole wheat) Whole grains generally need additional vital gluten added, a little bit extra yeast added, add one cup of white flour or as someone else noted, dissolve the yeast in warm water with a tsp of sugar so you know the yeast is still good and active.
      Dec. 22, 2012 8:50 am
      Kathy Owen may be looking for monkey bread which I consider a holiday bread. Monkey Bread II is very good if you note the comments.
      Feb. 8, 2013 7:13 am
      Feb. 8, 2013 7:16 am
      Feb. 8, 2013 3:18 pm
      is it important to use oven in baking? WHY?
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