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Golden Santa Bread

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 25 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1 loaf (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 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 raisins
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 to 3 drops red food coloring


  • 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.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 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.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 2 portions, 1 slightly larger than the other.
  • Shape the larger portion into an elongated triangle with rounded corners for Santa's head and hat.
  • Divide the smaller portion in half. Shape and flatten 1 half into a beard. Place beard over face; using a sharp knife, cut deep slits to resemble hair.
  • Use the remaining dough for the mustache, nose, eyebrows, hat pompom and brim. Shape a portion of dough into a mustache; flatten and place on face over beard. Using sharp knife, cut slits to resemble hair. Place a small ball above mustache for nose. With scissors, cut 2 slits for eyes; insert raisins into slits. Form another small portion of dough into eyebrows; flatten and place above eyes. Roll out a narrow piece of dough to create a hat brim; position below hat. Fold tip of hat over and add dough ball for pompom. If desired, using scissors or sharp knife, cut small lines along edges of brim and pompom to resemble fur.
  • In separate small bowls, beat egg each yolk. Add red food coloring to 1 yolk; carefully brush over hat. Brush plain yolk over remaining dough.
  • Cover loosely with foil. Bake 15 minutes. Uncover; bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 175 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 49mg cholesterol, 230mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

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  • Janet
    Dec 17, 2017

    Make it every year for my Chorus and it is a hit ????????

  • J
    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
    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
    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
    Dec 17, 2014

    Looks easy using frozen bread dough. Fun idea. Smiling

  • VickiGene
    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
    Dec 10, 2014

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

  • LadyJ1225
    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
    Dec 6, 2014

    could i make this with pretzel dough??

  • momma53
    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!!!