Christmas Wreath - Christmas Braided Bread
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I am so glad to share with you this beautiful Christmas Wreath that is a great appetizer idea you can prepare for Christmas this year. It looks quite impressive and appetizing and even though it might look difficult to prepare it is actually quite easy and forgiving.
This wreath consists of a simple yeasted dough, filled especially for Christmas with a green, white and red filling. Therefore, I chose a spinach pesto, cheddar cheese and red pepper for the filling but feel free to use whatever fresh herbs you like best for the pesto, like basil or parsley, different types of cheese and for a a more spiced appetizer sprinkle with red chili pepper flakes.
I am so excited about how this wreath turned out. It has a soft flavorful crumb and a crispy exterior. I have made it several times already and everybody loved it. If you have a sweet tooth, you can also consider making this wreath with a sweet filling, like this Cinnamon Braided Bread which is absolutely delightful. Either sweet or savory, I really hope you will try this wreath, either sweet or savory and enjoy as much as we did!
- Makes about 8-10 servings
- For the dough
- 2 1/4 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp (4g) salt
- 3/4 cup (180ml) lukewarm milk, divided
- 2 tsp (6g) active dry yeast
- 1 tsp (5g) sugar
- 2 tbsp (30g) butter, melted
- 1 egg yolk
- Spinach Pesto
- 1.5 oz (40g) fresh spinach leaves (basil or parsley are good too)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tbsp (20g) walnuts
- 1 tbsp (15ml) lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (20g) Parmesan cheese, grated
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp (30g) olive oil
- For the filling
- 1 cup (100g) cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 red pepper, finely chopped
- For brushing
- 1 egg white
- In a medium bowl add yeast, sugar and lukewarm milk. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes to activate the yeast.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Add the remaining milk, activated yeast, egg yolk and melted butter. Start kneading it until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Give the dough the shape of a ball. Transfer the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for about 1 hour at room temperature (warm space) until doubled in size.
- While the dough rises, prepare the spinach peste.
- Place the spinach leaves, walnuts, minced garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, salt and olive oil into the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined and smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 400F (200 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll the dough to a rectangle of about 18x12 inches (45x30cm).
- Spread spinach pesto evenly, leaving about a 1/2-inch (1cm) border around the edges. Sprinkle the grated cheese and red pepper over the pesto. Roll up the dough and using a sharp knife, cut the log in half lengthwise.
- Start braiding the two pieces, trying to keep the open layers exposed so the cut ends remain on top. Pinch the ends together and form a wreath.
- Transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the wreath with egg white. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.