Red and green colored sugar peeks our from the twisted "branches" of these lovely loaves. You can have your family enjoy one and give the other as a gift.
- 2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon red colored sugar
- 1 tablespoon green colored sugar
- In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, salt and baking soda. In a small saucepan, heat buttermilk and shortening to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough in half. Roll each into a 14-in. x 3-in. rectangles; pinch seam to seal. Cut each into fourteen 3-in. x 1-in. strips.
- Beginning with the red-sugared strips, twist each strip several times. On a greased baking sheet, arrange strips in a tree shape by placing pinched edge of a strip in the top center of baking sheet and fanning out rounded end, allowing filling to show.
- Use six strips of dough on one side and seven strips on other side. Pinch dough in center to join. Use remaining strip for tree trunk. Repeat with green-sugared strips. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves (28 slices each).
Originally published as Christmas Tree Twists in Best of Country Breads 2000, p84
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Reviewed Dec. 28, 2012
"I've been preparing this recipe for the past 15 years and it's not only fun to make but delicious to eat. Back in the 1960's this recipe was in "Better Homes and Garden""