Golden Santa Bread Recipe
Golden Santa Bread Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Golden Santa Bread Recipe

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A friend of mine shared this fun idea. She made it with purchased frozen dough, and I use a family bread recipe. The finished loaf looks complicated. but it's actually simple to create. —Vicki Melies, Elkhorn, Nebraska
Featured In: 11 Santa-Shaped Treats
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 25 min. + cooling
MAKES:16-18 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 25 min. + cooling
MAKES: 16-18 servings


  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 raisins
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 to 3 drops red food coloring


  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat milk, water and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Beat in eggs until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into two portions, one slightly larger than the other.
  4. Shape the larger portion into an elongated triangle with rounded corners for Santa's head and hat.
  5. Divide the smaller portion in half. Shape and flatten one half into a beard. Using scissors or a pizza cutter, cut into strips to within 1 in. of top. Position on Santa's face; twist and curl strips if desired.
  6. Use the remaining dough for the mustache, nose, hat pom-pom and brim. Shape a portion of dough into a mustache; flatten and cut the ends into small strips with scissors. Place above beard. Place a small ball above mustache for nose. Fold tip of hat over and add another ball for pom-pom. Roll out a narrow piece of dough to create a hat brim; position under hat.
  7. With a scissors, cut two slits for eyes; insert raisins into slits. In separate small bowls, beat egg each yolk. Add red food coloring to one yolk; carefully brush over hat, nose and cheeks. Brush plain yolk over remaining dough.
  8. Cover loosely with foil. Bake 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-12 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf.
Originally published as Golden Santa Bread in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2007, p73

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J User ID: 9000165 258643
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2016

"I made it to the recipe but added the egg yolks with the eggs to the mix (the recipe wasn't very clear). Mine looked much darker than the pictures and you couldn't really see the food coloring. bread itself was lovely, very similar to brioche. Not as easy as some of the reviews suggest."

jackson1usa User ID: 8658161 244975
Reviewed Mar. 5, 2016

"I used freezer dough also. This way you can also choose what kind of bread you want. The Grandchildren loved it and it tasted great. Thank's"

manpabrown User ID: 1979130 219253
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2015

"Kids love this every year - this year I was way too busy and cheated with freezer dough - the kids still liked it but I noticed the difference."

Fairygramma1 User ID: 8166529 215162
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2014

"Looks easy using frozen bread dough. Fun idea. Smiling"

VickiGene User ID: 8136502 215051
Reviewed Dec. 16, 2014

"That adorable and I'm so happy it's not a salt dough recipe! Please explain instructions in #7. "Beat egg each yolk" Was that supposed to be "beat egg yolks separately in two small bowls"?"

jacksongordy User ID: 8071740 214485
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2014

"Great 1 hr. project with or for kids baking during Christmas!"

LadyJ1225 User ID: 7810931 214465
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2014

"This is adorable! I made one for our potluck lunch at work, and now I'm going to adapt the bread recipe to make it gluten-free for those of us who can't eat wheat for our family gathering. It looks amazing and is so easy to do."

ayeitsamandap User ID: 8142630 214191
Reviewed Dec. 6, 2014

"could i make this with pretzel dough??"

momma53 User ID: 7467113 168928
Reviewed Oct. 7, 2014

"I have made this Santa bread for 6 years now, it's always a big hit and people always think I worked so hard. I' s very easy and fun to do with grandchildren. We've also made the Easter bunny bread. These are great!!!"

grnmolly User ID: 7569017 168927
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2013

"Made this on Christmas during the party. I have never made bread before, and this was a huge hit. Wish I could post a picture, because it came out so cute. And tasted even better! I brought the left overs home and ate it for breakfast and lunch until it was gone. Definitely will be using this recipe again. So easy. I used the Kitchen Aid mixer to knead it. I bet I could use blue or green food coloring and mold it into a truck or something for my sons as well. Will totally be trying that. And since the batter is sweet, I bet if you mixed in raisins or craisins that could be really good too. Thanks for the awesome recipe!!"

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