Bakers & Best Holiday Bread Guide
It’s that time of year! The days are short, presents are being wrapped (or have been wrapped and opened if you celebrated Hanukkah), and the weather is…well not quite normal. It was 60 degrees yesterday and I went grocery shopping wearing shorts and flip-flops! Not your typical December weather, though I’m sure it will get there.
Even if the weather isn’t cooperating I wanted to share some of my favorite breads that are great for the holidays and cold winter nights. These are perfect if you need to bring something to a holiday dinner, want to impress some family members, or are just looking for a delicious bread to make while you hopefully have time to relax.
My #1 go-to for a simple and crowd-pleasing bread is this cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread. The pre-cut layers make it perfect for a large group of people but be careful, you’re going to have trouble having just one slice. I like that this bread also doesn’t require any fancy equipment to make it; as long as you have a bowl and a loaf pan you are good to go. So if you’re visiting someone over the holidays you can say thanks by making this even if you aren’t in your own kitchen. If you’d prefer to make a more standard loaf, try this cinnamon raisin swirl bread.
Often when I’ve visited family for the holidays I bring a loaf of sourdough bread with me. I have a feeling I’d run into issues trying to bring sourdough starter through airport security (it’s not strictly a liquid, but not a solid either, and not something most people would recognize) so I just bring the finished product with me. My chocolate cherry sourdough is always a crowd-pleaser and last winter I discovered the wonderful cake-like texture and taste of this lemon poppyseed sourdough.
As delicious as they are, those two are more dessert breads and you might be looking for something to serve with dinner. Two of my all-time favorite loaves are my seedy salt sourdough and parmesan pepper bread.
I don’t make these loaves often because they disappear almost instantly. Fennel seed is one of my favorite spices and the seedy salt bread is loaded with it. As for the parmesan pepper…where could you go wrong with a combination like that?
If sourdough isn’t your thing don’t despair, because I have something for you too! One of the very first loaves I ever posted about is a guaranteed hit and easy to make.
This asiago, herb, and garlic bread takes just over an hour to make from start to finish and when it comes out of the oven fills your home with incredible smells that will have anyone nearby wandering into the kitchen. I made two of these loaves once for a large group and within 20 minutes of taking them out of the oven they had been eaten! If you’re craving garlic but want something more bite sized, these garlic knots are a perfect addition to your holiday spread.
I hope you’ll enjoy these breads as much as I do and that some of them will find their way to your table over the holidays or in 2016!