Holiday Christmas Bread | Midwest Living

Holiday Christmas Bread

Holiday Christmas Bread

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  • Makes: 24 servings
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Prep 40 mins
  • Rise 1 hr
  • Bake 40 mins
  • Stand 10 mins

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  • 1 active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 5 1/4-5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped black walnuts or walnuts
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Powdered Sugar Icing:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  1. In a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, granulated sugar and salt just until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F). Using a wooden spoon, stir milk mixture, egg and 2 cups of the flour into the yeast mixture until combined. Stir in walnuts and raisins. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (1 to 1-1/4 hours).
  4. Punch dough down. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a very large baking sheet*. Roll dough out to a 12x10-inch rectangle. Cut dough crosswise into twelve (1-inch) strips. On the prepared baking sheet, twist and weave 5 of the strips together, pinching together the ends and tucking them under the braid. Twist and weave 4 more strips together and place atop the first layer. Braid the remaining 3 dough strips and place atop the first two. Brush the loaf lightly with oil. Use 4 wooden or metal skewers, pushing in from the top, to secure layers.
  5. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (30 to 45 minutes). Bake in 325 degree F oven 40 to 45 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped; remove skewers after bread is set. Cool bread on wire rack Drizzle with icing. Makes 1 loaf (24 servings).
  6. Powdered Sugar Icing: In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing reaches drizzling consistency.


  • *Note: If your oven will not hold a very large baking sheet, shape loaf on a lightly floured surface. Carefully transfer to a greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Let loaf rise and bake as above.

Nutrition Facts

(Holiday Christmas Bread)

Servings Per Recipe 24, carb. (g) 34, pro. (g) 5, cal. (kcal) 191, Monounsaturated fat (g) 1, Folate (µg) 65, sat. fat (g) 1, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0, Niacin (mg) 2, chol. (mg) 10, Fat, total (g) 5, Potassium (mg) 115, sodium (mg) 107, sugar (g) 11, iron (mg) 2, calcium (mg) 30, fiber (g) 1, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 0, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 3, Riboflavin (mg) 0, Thiamin (mg) 0, vit. C (mg) 0, vit. A (IU) 49, Trans fatty acid (g) 0

Comments (1)

gmwill33 wrote:
The 12 strips of dough represent 12 months in a year. The four layers of braided dough stand for the 4 seasons. Nuts & raisins indicate type of year...mostly nuts good year for farmers, mostly raisins poor year Youngest boy takes last year's crust outside to feed the birds, God's lesser creatures Finally a crust is saved for the next year to show there will always be bread in this home. Margaret Kassing, Beatrice, Nebraska

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