Spectacularly beautiful and delicious Holiday Loaves and Christmas Bread to bake for the season or special enough to give as holiday gifts.
Christmas Bread Recipes
An article caught my eye the other days as I was researching an ethnic bread recipe for the holidays.
The writer grew up in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle very near where I spent many childhood days.
She wrote in Huff Post, “I grew up in Seattle’s Scandinavian neighborhood, Ballard. My grandmother married a Norwegian. So Christmastime was never complete without yulekake (julekaka) bread. Even today, though I no longer live in Ballard, I will travel many miles to get yulekake. Otherwise, it just wouldn’t be Christmas.”
Challah: A braided Jewish egg bread eaten during Hanukkah (Chanukah). It began in ancient times as a piece of dough set aside for the temple priests.
Julekake: A sweet bread is especially popular in Norway and Denmark. Traditionally it is spiced with cardamom filled with mixed candied fruits that give it the colors of the Christmas season.
Panettone: This Italian Christmas bread was created in Milan.
Cesnica: A traditional Serbian wheat bread baked by women according to many rules on Christmas morning. The word “cest” means share. It is baked with an object inside and the loaf is sent counterclockwise around the Christmas table three times before eating.
Krendel: This Russian Christmas bread is shaped like a pretzel and either dusted with sugar or lightly iced. It is filled with fruit like prunes, apples, apricots, etc.
Kerststol: Dutch bread with almond paste and dried fruit.
Gubana: Originating in Slovenia/ North Italy (Friuli) this traditional bread is shaped like a snail shell and is eaten at various holidays throughout the year.
Beigli: A Hungarian bread that is rolled up with a filling of walnuts and/ or poppy seeds.
Three Kings Bread: Also known as Twelfth Night Cake. The Romans baked this bread and it is traditional in Span, Portugal and Mexico (Rosca de Reyes).
Fougasse: A flatbread (similar to focaccia) from southern France.
Christopsomo: A Christmas bread meaning “Christ’s bread” and is considered sacred in Greek Orthodox homes.
Baking for the holidays is an old tradition I hope we keep very much alive.
"Vánočka is a traditional sweet bread from the Czech Republic. This buttery dessert is usually served for Christmas Eve breakfast along with a cup of Czech hot cocoa. A slice of vánočka sounds like an awesome breakfast to me!"
Almond Cinnamon Babka Star Bread is an elegant, pull-apart sweet bread, intensely flavored with cinnamon, almonds, and raisins. Soft and tender, and addictive. A perfect holiday bread, like Christmas or Easter, or delicious with morning coffee!
“Julekage (pronounced yoo-ley-key-yeh) is a popular Norwegian Christmas fruit bread filled with candied fruit, golden raisins, and cardamom. Glistening sugar and snow-white icing top this special holiday bread.”
"This pull-apart style sweet bread is a show-stopping riff on a classic cinnamon bun. As it bakes, the cinnamon-sugar filling caramelizes and gives the bread a wonderfully sweet and crunchy coating, while the interior remains soft and tender. It's a holiday breakfast treat that will disappear in a flash."
"If there is one recipe I need you to make this holiday season, it’s this braided cardamom bread, a.k.a., Finnish pulla, a.k.a., the softest, pillow-iest, most delicately spiced and icing-drizzled bread of all the breads."
"Easy Homemade Italian Christmas Bread Panettone Recipe - perfect for the holidays! This Panettone Recipe does require some planning, but if you follow my instructions, you'll end up with a sweet, puffy and festive holiday bread."
“As a traditional German fruitcake with a profound history, it’s no wonder that there are as many variations of stollen as there are people who make it. This version includes a rich filling of marzipan, which adds to the decadence of the bread-like cake. Stollen’s dense butter and sugar coating makes it an excellent candidate for preparing ahead of the busy holiday season, wrapping, and giving to friends and family up to 2 weeks later.”
"Since 1474, Dresden Christmas Stollen has been a favorite advent season treat. A buttery, moist and heavy cake-like fruit bread made simply with yeast, dried fruits and the zests of citrus. Liberally dusted with confectioners sugar, it’s a tradition all of its own."
"Fruitcake... or fruit bread? This quick and easy batter bread is packed with fruit and nuts, but is less sweet and very mildly spiced, unlike traditional fruitcakes. This is a great cake to bake if you feel obliged, by the holiday spirit, to have a fruitcake in the house."
An ultimate chocolate lover’s dream — Double Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Espresso. A rich, moist texture and superb banana chocolate flavor, and that hint of energizing espresso, just makes it extra special!
“Delight one and all with the sweet, nutty flavor of dates and pecans in this whole-wheat no-knead bread. Neufchatel cheese offers a nice tangy counterpoint. Looking for something more firmly in the dessert category?”