Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Orange Honey Christmas Braid

Orange Honey Christmas Braid
Well, we still have a few nights before the stockings will be hung, but the cookies are baked, the shopping is done, the cards have been mailed and the gifts are pretty much wrapped! So, today I made my Christmas Bread. This is a wonderful sweet dough recipe that my aunt had given me years ago. It is such a delicious addition to our Christmas morning breakfast. This recipe makes two loaves, so I send one to my son for their Christmas celebration. My aunt would make this bread every year at Christmas and at Easter she would make the same dough to make her Easter Bread. This is a basic sweet dough and can be used for several different breads. This bread is part of my family aunt was a great baker! She passed down so many wonderful recipes. They have now become part of the traditions I share with my family.  
The dough for this bread is pretty easy to make. It can also be made in a bread maker, which I sometimes do. I put all the ingredients into the machine and it does the initial work. I set it for dough and when it is done rising, I take it out of the bread maker and roll it. Whether you use a bread maker or not this is a delicious holiday bread. 
This Christmas Eve my daughter and her family will be with us, along with one of my sons. We will also be joined by other family members, gathering to share family stories, remembering those who won't be with us, eat wonderful food, and share the excitement of a child's joy at Christmas! 
As you hang your stockings this Christmas Eve, here's hoping Santa brings you everything you're wishing for.  And may a peaceful blessed Christmas be yours!  

Orange honey filling
The dough ready to roll
Ready for the oven
This beautiful bread will be enjoyed by my family Christmas morning
From my chaotic kitchen to yours Merry Christmas...Happy Holidays!

Christmas Bread Dough (Sweet Dough)
2 pkg. dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
4 to 5 cups flour
1/2 cup butter. softened

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk, add salt and sugar. Stir in the eggs, vanilla and lemon rind. Add enough to make a soft dough. Work in the butter. Add more flour if needed. Knead dough on floured surface for 10 minutes or until it is shiny and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl turn the dough and cover the bowl with a towel. Place in a draft-free place to rise for 30 minutes or till doubled in bulk. Dough has risen enough if it does not spring back when fingers are poked into the center. Punch the dough down. Knead it briefly then continue with the Orange Honey Braid.

Orange Honey Braid
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup white raisins

2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons light cream
1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds

Set oven at 350〫Grease a large cookie sheet. Cut dough into two equal parts.  Roll each into a large square 1/4 inch thick. Cream the butter, honey, orange rind and cardamom together. Spread mixture evenly over dough. Scatter Walnuts and raisins over dough. Roll dough up loosely, jelly-roll style. Flatten out filled dough with a rolling pin to make it no more than 1 inch thick. Cut it into three equal strips. Braid the strips and pinch together to form a circle. Let rise till doubled. Brush with egg yolks mixed with cream. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.


  1. This so entices, I am writing the ingredients down to pick up the only thing I don't have - light cream! We have recipes that work for both Christmas and Easter also - with some changes to suit the season. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. May your weekend be filled with joy.

  2. Una gran receta de navidad luce estupenda y muy bien elaborada,abrazos y feliz navidad,hugs,hugs.

  3. Such a gorgeous bread...and a wonderful holiday tradition! Your kitchen looks like mine...LOL...getting my cookies baked tonight! Have a merry, merry Christmas, my friend!!!

  4. Oh, Kathy, you always share your treasured recipes, which is so appreciated!
    Your Christmas braid is beautiful, and love the orange-honey flavor...I can just taste it from the looks and sounds of the ingredients.

    I can't say my kitchen looks like that, because I can only cook and bake limited things in my little kitchen on the beach, but it's the exact replica in my daughter's kitchen, especially when the two of us work together...she has lots of counter space and it sure gets filled up, ha, ha! For a moment I thought it was Lora's! (how else can one cook and bake amazing things, w/out a mess?)

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, my dear friend!

  5. How absolutely beautiful, Kathy!

    Wishing your family & you a wonderful Christmas!

    Looking forward to another year of culinary adventures together!

  6. What a fantastic look braid! Impressive!

  7. What a wonderful tradition- it is such a beautiful bread. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us. Happy holidays!

  8. What a treasured recipe. Your bread looks so delightful, Karen! And I am so relieved that your kitchen looks similar to mine when I am baking or cooking. ;) I hope you and your family have a blessed joyous Christmas!

  9. What a beautiful Christmas Bread! Hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday!

  10. Such a beautiful tradition, thanks for sharing your lovely family Christmas bread with the rest of us!
    Baking sure does make a mess doesn't it? Oh well, I think it's worth it for the results we all enjoy;-) Happy New Year Kathy!

  11. What a pretty bread! Love the braids.

  12. I love seeing all your creations! This looks esp good to me!! Very pretty, too!

  13. This looks so delicious! Thanks for linking to it :)