Glorious Holiday Stuffed Braided Bread Pin It

Nothing says Christmas like a great family tradition!

This recipe has been passed down generation after generation… And now I share it with my family and yours.

I think I was four years old the first time I helped my grandmother make this recipe.  She told me that one day I would make this for my own family and now… that’s what I love to do. It’s a favorite by everyone that takes a bite and it really melts in your mouth straight out of the oven.

When I was in my 20′s I was given my Great-Great Grandmother’s bread board. During Holiday gatherings I always cut and display the Holiday Braid on this board as the main centerpiece. It is amazing just looking at it and knowing how old it is and  that my family started this tradition so many years ago and I am continuing it on. I can only hope that one day… one of my four boys will pass it down to their children.

Let the fun begin…

This recipe has been modified to be bread machine friendly… after all with four boys… there is NO time to kneed bread! LOL!

Glorious Holiday Stuffed Braided Bread

Makes 1 -  2lb. dough ball

1-1/2 t Active Dry Yeast

4 Cups of Bread Flour

1 t Salt

4 T Granulated Sugar

2 T Butter

2 Large Eggs

1 cup less 1 T Water

NOTE: All ingredients should be added in the order listed above!

Turn the bread machine on for the dough setting and sit back and relax… let the machine do the work while you enjoy a cup of coffee or even better… a nice glass of wine!

Once the bread machine has completed remove the dough and place on a foil lined open-sided air bake cookie sheet. This will give you plenty of room for your beautiful braid once it has risen!

I usually rub a little bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) on the foil just to make it easy to press the dough out and stretch it to all sides.

Use a rolling pin to shape the dough into a large rectangle. You can pick it up in your hands and stretch it too… but usually the consistency is perfect for rolling.

Toppings:

2 – 3 T of Spreadable Butter

2 Handfuls of Grated Mozzarella Cheese

1/4 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Handful of Fresh Flat Leaf Italian Parsley Chopped

Fresh Ground Black Pepper and Sea Salt

Once the dough has been rolled out, spread 2 – 3 tablespoons of spreadable butter evenly over the surface. Then sprinkle on the rest of the toppings over the butter layer.

Make sure you press everything down lightly in preparation for the BRAIDING!

I use a pizza cutter to make two slices at the “third” marks without going all the way through at the end. This will make it easier for you to braid without needing extra hands to hold it.

Once you have made your “slices” gently twist each strip so that all of the toppings are “inside”.

After all three slices have been twisted… gently begin at the top and braid to the end. Tuck-in the end and gently press to keep the braid in place.

Turn the sheet around and slice the strips the rest of the way so that you can finish by braiding the top. Tuck in the top end… just as you did the other end.

Once it is braided, place a clean dishcloth over the braid and keep covered for about an hour … this is when the MAGIC happens. It usually doubles in size… so make sure there’s enough room on all sides of the cookie sheet. You WILL be amazed when you remove the dishcloth and see just how beautiful it is…. you will want to eat it right away… but you can’t … it’s RAW! DUH!

Mix one egg white with 3 T of water. Brush lightly with the egg wash and bake on 350 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Be prepared for the Ohhhhs and Ahhhhs…. and the OMGs did you REALLY Make that? And you can NOD… and say YES. I. DID!

Then…. you will devour it!

I hope you try this recipe and let me know what you think. And maybe… just maybe… this will begin a new tradition for you and your family for Holidays and other special events… or just because!

Until next time…

CLINK!

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