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Christmas Tree Bread

 Christmas Tree Bread
I make this bread for every Christmas. It looks so beautiful and often receive compliments on it. You can also make this into a wreath or two smaller trees.—Shirley Pewtress, Kayesville, Utah
24 ServingsPrep: 45 min. + rising Bake: 20 min.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • BASIC SWEET DOUGH:
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mace
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 8 to 8-1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • PECAN CREAM FILLING:
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • GLAZE:
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons butter, melted

2 of 2

Christmas Tree Bread (continued)

Ingredients (continued)

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Red and green candied cherries

Directions

  • Dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside. In large bowl, combine
  • sugar, butter, milk, salt and mace; mix well. Add eggs and yeast;
  • mix well. Add 4 cups flour; beat well. Stir in vanilla and lemon
  • juice and enough remaining flour to form soft dough. Turn out onto
  • floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic. Add more flour if
  • necessary. Shape into ball; place in a greased bowl. Cover; let rise
  • in warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
  • For filling, cream butter, sugar and flour. Beat in egg yolk. Add
  • pecans. Cover; set aside.
  • When dough has risen, punch down. Roll one-third of dough into 15-in.
  • x 13-in. rectangle. (Using sharp knife and ruler, trim to make
  • triangle 15 in. tall and 13 in. wide at base.) From trimmings, cut
  • tow 3-in. high tree trunks. Place large triangle on lightly greased
  • 17-in. x 14-in. baking sheet with no sides. Dough will shrink, so
  • form on pan with fingers back to original shape. Center one tree
  • trunk at base of triangle; pinch together where trunk joins tree.
  • Fold top 2 in. of triangle under. Gently spread filling on triangle
  • and trunk to within 1 in. of edges.
  • Place second trunk over filling on trunk already attached to tree;
  • inch outside edges to seal. Roll remaining dough into 15-in. square.
  • With doughnut cutter, cut 25 rounds. With star-shaped cutter, cut
  • one star. Arrange 6 dough rounds, overlapping slightly, across tree
  • base. Use 5 rounds to make second row. Make third row of 5 rounds,
  • fourth of 4 fifth of 3 and top row of 2. Place star on top. Cover;
  • let rise until doubled, about 45-60 ;minutes. Bake at 375° for
  • 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Combine
  • glaze ingredients; spread over tree. Top dough rounds with candied
  • cherries.
  • Note: This recipe also can be used to make wreaths or two smaller
  • trees. Yield: about 24 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 324 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 51 mg cholesterol, 169 mg sodium, 58 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.