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Tasty Christmas Bread Recipes

On this page is some recipes for sweet breads you can make for Christmas or other holidays. Most of these have either nuts or fruit in them.

Also see Easy Breads and Banana Bread, and some Easy Fruitcake Recipes.

Here's how they make that popular Christmas bread called "Pannetone" that you see in the grocery stores.

Italian Pannetone

  • 1 cup warm water (105 - 115F)
  • 2 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup soft margarine or butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg separated
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups of flour
  • 1 1/2 cup seeded raisins
  • 1 cup chopped citron
  • 1/2 cup sliced candied cherries
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  1. If possible, check temperature of warm water with thermometer. Sprinkle yeast over water in a large bowl, stirring until dissolved.

  2. Add 1/2 cup sugar, salt, 1/2 cup butter, 3 eggs, egg yolk, and 3 cups flour; beat, with wooden spoon, until smooth - about 2 minutes.

  3. Stir in fruit. Gradually add remaining flour; mix in last of it with hand until dough leaves side of bowl.

  4. Turn onto a lightly floured board; roll to coat with flour. Knead until smooth - 5 minutes.

  5. Place in lightly greased bowl; turn to bring up greased side. Cover with a towel; let rise until double in bulk-about 1 1/2 hr to 2 hr. (Fruited dough requires a longer rising time)

  6. Meanwhile grease 2 8 or 9 inch layer cake pans or 2 large cookie sheets.

  7. Punch down dough; turn out onto lightly floured pastry cloth. Divide in half; shape each into a round loaf.

  8. Place in prepared pans. Brush tops with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place (85F) free from drafts, until double in bulk. 1 1/2 to 2 hrs.

  9. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 F.

  10. With a sharp knife cut a deep cross in top of each loaf. Combine egg white with 2 tablespoons water; brush over loaves. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until golden. Remove from pans immediately; cool well on wire rack, away from drafts. Makes 2 loaves.
Recipe from a 1974 recipe book

Sugarplum Bread - Round Loaves

Christmas Bread
  • 2 pkgs. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup milk scalded
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed diced candied fruits and peels.
  • 1 recipe confectioners' Icing

Soften active dry yeast in warm water. Combine hot milk, sugar, shortening, and salt. Cool to lukewarm. Add 2 cups of the flour and the lemon peel; beat until smooth. Add eggs; beat well. Stir in softened yeast. Add fruits and peels. Stir in remaining flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. (6 to 8 min). Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in warm place until double (about 2 hrs) Punch down. Divide dough in half; round each into ball. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Place round loaves on greased cooky sheet; pat tops to flatten slightly. Cover and let rise until almost double (about 1 1/2 hours) Bake in a moderate oven 350 about 25 to 30 minutes. Cover tops with foil after 15 to 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. Cool on rack. While still slightly warm, glaze with Confectioners Icing and decorate with bits of red and green candied cherries. Makes 2.

Tiny Sugarplum loaves: Divide dough in half, then form each piece into 6 balls; shape in tiny loaves and place in 12 greased 4 1/2x2 1/2x1 1/2 inch loaf pans. Let rise until double in bulk. Bake in a moderate oven 350 about 20 to 22 minutes, covering with foil after 15 min. (Or make 1 round and 6 little loaves.
Recipe from 1963 Cookbook

Yule Bread

  • 1 c. milk (scald) and 3/4 c. shortening.
  • Cool. Then add:
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. lukewarm water
  • 2 yeast packets

  • Add:
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb. glazed fruit
  • 1 c. raisins
  • 7 c. flour

Mix in order given, let rise, knead down, let rise again. Make into 6 small loaves. Bake 30 to 35 min. in 350 oven.
Recipe from 1982 SD church cookbook

Simple Christmas Bread Wreath

(Makes 1 wreath, about 12 inches in diameter)

1 loaf frozen white or sweet bread dough, thawed

Let dough rise until doubled in size. Divide into thirds. Shape each into 24 inch strip on floured surface. Braid together, stretching strips while braiding to keep even and uniform in length. Place in a ring on a greased cookie sheet. Seal the ends together. Cover; let rise in a warm place until light or doubled in size, 30 to 60 minutes.

Bake at 375 for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a very nice rich golden brown. If desired, when cooled, glaze with a confectioners sugar glaze, and place candied fruit on top.

Tip: A perfect braid is made by starting in the center and braiding both ways. How to make a braid

Shortcut wreath:
Divide the dough in half and make 24 to 30 inch strips. Twist the strips together instead of braiding, to make the wreath.

Make more recipes out of Frozen Bread Dough


Makes 2 round loaves
  • 1 loaf frozen white or sweet bread dough, thawed
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 c. candied cherries
  • 1/4 c. chopped almonds, if desired
  • 1/2 tsp. ground or crushed cardamom
  • Candied cherries, almonds

Let dough rise until almost doubled in size. Flatten to 1/2 inch thickness. Sprinkle with the remaining ingredients; press down firmly. Divide in half; shape each into balls. Place in greased round cake pans or on a cookie sheet. Cover; let rise in a warm place until light or doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. Frost warm loaves with vanilla icing, decorate with candied cherries and almonds.
Recipe from 1982 Ladies in Pink Iowa cookbook pg 36

Holiday Bread

  • 1/3 c. butter
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 T. milk
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded apples
  • 1 c. chopped raisins
  • 1/2 c. chopped nuts

Cream butter, sugar, lemon peel and cinnamon. Beat in eggs until fluffy. Beat in milk and lemon juice. Stir together dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture, stir until moistened. Fold in apples, raisins and nuts. Bake in 3 (3x6 inch) loaf pans, 40 to 45 minutes at 350 or 1 (5x9 inch) loaf pan 1 hour.

Fruit and Nut Bread recipes

Fruit Bread

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. maraschino cherries
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1/4 c. chocolate chips
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 c. flour, sifted
  • 1/4 c. nuts

Mix according to order listed. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
Recipe from 1982 Ladies in Pink Iowa cookbook pg 36

Fruit Nut Bread

  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1/4 cup nut meats
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries

Mix in order given. Bake in greased loaf pan until done at 350°.
See the recipe: Fruit Nut Bread

Carrot-Pineapple Bread

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1-20 oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. each cinnamon, soda, salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients together. Divide into 2 loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool.

For the Christmas office party

Jam Twists

  • 2 c. sifted flour
  • 1 Tblsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tblsp. shortening
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • Jam

Combine flour, baking powder and salt; cut in shortening; then stir in milk. Turn dough on floured board and knead 1/2 minute. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Shape like ribbon candy by cutting dough into strips 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. Spread jam on half the strips; top with remaining strips; twist. Bake in moderate oven (375) 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 16.
Recipe from 1987 SD Special Olympics Cookbook

Priest Bread

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp butter or margarine, softened
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

-Preheat oven to 350F.
-Beat sugar, eggs, and yolks together and add butter.
-Mix flour with baking soda and add to butter mixture.
-Shape dough into a long loaf.
-Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
-Slice into 1-inch slices. Serve warm or cold.

More Fruit and Nut Bread recipes

- Here's a recipe for Date Bread. Easy to make and it freezes well.
- This recipe for Date and Nut bread makes one large loaf or two smaller ones. This is from a 1964 Tyndall SD Recipebook.
- This next recipe is for a Raisin Bread that calls for a bread sponge.
- Here's a recipe for a Rich Nut Bread, that has sour cream in it. Very simple to make.

Other Holiday Recipes

Food for Thought:
"The best time to accomplish something is - the day before tomorrow."

Holly bar

Holiday Recipe
Start with a heart full of love. Add warm friendship spiced with laughter and merriment. Season with joyful greetings and serve with loads of good cheer.

Stocking Stuffers
Wrap your homemade candies in colorful plastic wrap and tie with festive ribbons. You might even want to add beaded eyes or a felt nose to the wrapper. And don`t forget to package your edible gift with an ornament or even attach the recipe.

Holiday Gift Bags
For an easy homemade Christmas gift, make some Chex Party Mix or Crispix Mix and give out as gifts to co workers. Put in cute decorative holiday bags wrapped with curling ribbon. Everybody loves them!

Easy Christmas Crafts
Here's a page to start making some easy Christmas Crafts. Easy Christmas Crafts for Kids and Homemade Christmas Ornaments


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