Lynns' Christmas Bread
I have made hundreds of these delectable yeast and cream cheese loaves over the years to give away for Christmas gifts and to serve on our table for family and friends during the holidays. This bread is always requested by friends and co workers at any of our holiday gatherings!
No one wants to try make the bread themselves...but they sure do want to eat it :) often begging and pleading for their own personal loaf...and who could possibly say no to such a lovely compliment...especially at Christmas time!!
This will not be a difficult recipe at all for any member of the JAP recipe club... I've seen most all of your recipes ladies and I know this group can COOK!
Folks who do not bake or cook are very intimidated...but this group will handle this recipe easily!!
You overnight the "dough- rise" in the fridge, then the following day put the loaves together, rise again, and bake. The great news about this recipe is that it makes 4 big beautiful loaves in one batch...you can double the recipe for gift giving but be sure to use a super huge bowl for the rise!
Enjoy... Wishing a very early Merry Christmas to All!!! :):)
1 csour cream
1/2 csugar ( regular white granulated)
2 pkgyeast ( active dry)
1/2 cwater ( warm) 110-115 degrees
4 cflour ( all purpose ) i like hecklers
2 pkgcream cheese ( 8oz each) softened
2 tspvanilla extract (pure)
2 1/2 cconfectioners' sugar
1/4 chalf & half or whole milk
1 1/2 tspalmond extract ( pure)
1 calmonds (thin sliced or chopped) toasted
How to Make Lynns' Christmas Bread
- Night Before: From the Dough Ingredients
In a saucepan combine the sour cream, sugar, butter and salt. Cook over med heat stiring often til smooth and fully combined ( less than 10 minutes)
Cool this mixture to room temperature.
In a large mixing bowl,dissolve yeast packets in water using a whisk or fork. Add the cooled sour cream mixture and the beaten eggs, mix well. Stir in the flour ( use a wooden spoon...it gets thick and heavy) Cover the bowl( I use foil) and refrigerate dough over night.
- Next day:
Combine filling ingredients with mixer in med bowl and set aside.
Turn out dough on floured board or counter top, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 4-5 min)
Divide dough into 4 portions.
Roll each portion ( one at a time) with rolling pin into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle ( or as close as you can get it to this measurment)use bench flour on board and pin as needed.
- Spread less than 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture onto the rolled dough...be sure to get somewhat close to the edges with the cream cheese. ( I have always found that using a quarter of the cream cheese mixture is a bit too much for the bread...just spread some cream cheese mix with the back of spoon to a 1/2 inch thickness or so.
- Roll each bread up jelly roll style using the long end of the dough to start rolling from. Using a bench scraper to seprate the dough from counter or board as you go along will help a lot.
Tuck in ends of dough when finished rolling and pat the bread into a nice shape. Take a look at your seam and press in if needed, also remove any extra cream cheese that may have squeezed out on the seam during rolling. Place dough on cookie sheet seam side down, that has been lined with parchment paper. (2 breads to a cookie sheet)
- Cover Breads ( I use clean cotton dish towels that I save just for covering Christmas Breads while rising) and let each dough rise until doubled in size. 1-3 hours depending on the temp of your home.
- Once risen, bake in pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes...Please watch your breads carefully while baking...they tend to burn rather easily. Pay special attention to the bottoms!!!!
- Cool Breads on wire racks.
Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over cooled breads, ( use less than the quater cup of milk to start when making your glaze) you will want the glaze fairly thick so that it stays on the bread and does not drip off..then while glaze is still wet, immediately sprinkle on some of the toasted almonds so they set into the glaze when the glaze hardens.
Store Bread in fridge if not serving same day.
If freezing...do not glaze...these breads freeze very well unfrosted and wrapped tight in foil.
Defrost frozen loaves and glaze once fully defrosted.
For gift giving, wrap in foil and add a nice red or green ribbon and bow to the loaf!
As an option you can also add chopped dried apriciots or dried fruit of choice sprinkled over the cream cheese or a few dabs of any kind of preserves you may like such as Strawberry, Red Rasberry, Cherry, Apricot, or Marmalade, Some folks also request that I sprinkle choc chips in their breads, a little bit of whole cranberry sauce is another festive and delicious option, as is fresh grated lemon peel or orange peel in the cream cheese mixture!! If using the citrus rind, add a splash of lemon juice or orange juice to the glaze omitting the milk and almond extract... you may also "tint" the glaze with a drop of food coloring for festive look.
Have fun making your decisions!!