Skip to Content

Christmas Wreath Bread

Christmas Wreath Bread

Sharing is caring!

We are having a bi-coastal holiday season this year.  Lenny is on the East Coast with his family, and I am on the West Coast with mine.  This is the first Christmas in four years, that we have not spent it together.  While it is wonderful being with our families, the distance during the holidays is bittersweet and tugs at my heartstrings every year.  So what did I do to cure heartbreak?  Baked my feelings by making this Christmas Wreath Bread recipe. 

christmas wreath bread, food and wine, food and drink, food blog

We hardly ever fight but when it is time for the holidays, and we are getting tugged by both families, it is the one time there are tears around our house.  Which is a shame as the holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.  The most wonderful time of the year?  

Regardless of where we are, we wanted to be sure to wish each and every one of you a very happy holiday season and hopefully, you are able to spend it with the ones you love.  Plus, we hope you make time to bake a Christmas Wreath Bread.  If we were hosting at our home for our loved ones this would definitely be on the Christmas morning menu.

Wishing you the very best this holiday season and in the New Year!

Recipe:  Christmas Wreath Bread

** adapted from Sunset Magazine, December 1978

Makes about 12 servings

For the bread:
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (about 110° F)
1/2 cup warm milk (about 110° F)
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 large eggs
3 teaspoons grated orange peel
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

For filling:
3/4 cup dried cherries, soaked in 1/2 cup brandy or other liqueur
6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the sugar glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon orange juice

How To:

Prepare the dough

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water and let it foam up for a minute or two. Blend in the milk, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, eggs and orange peel. Stir in two cups of the flour, one cup at a time. Beat for 2 minutes. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until you have a soft, workable dough — you might not need to use all the flour.

Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, 5 to 10 minutes. Add more flour if needed to prevent sticking. Place in a lightly oiled mixing bowl large enough to accommodate dough when doubled in size. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Prepare the filling

Drain the dried fruit from the liqueur and reserve the liqueur for another use. In a small bowl, combine the drained fruit with remaining filling ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.

Shape the dough

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured board, kneading just enough to release any air bubbles. Roll the dough into a 9×30-inch rectangle. Crumble the filling over the dough to within 1 inch of the edges. Starting along a long side, tightly roll up the dough, pinching edge against loaf to seal. With a sharp knife, cut the roll in half lengthwise. Carefully turn the halves so the cut sides are facing up, and then loosely twist the halves around each other, keeping cut sides up. (See photos above for step-by-step instructions.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment or non-stick baking mat. Carefully transfer the rope to the baking sheet and shape into a wreath, pinching the ends together to seal. Let it rise, uncovered, in a warm place until puffy, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the wreath until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. While the wreath is baking, stir together the ingredients for the glaze and set aside.

When the wreath is done, transfer to a cooling rack by picking up the sides of the parchment and then sliding the parchment out from underneath. Cool for a few minutes then drizzle the glaze over the warm wreath. Serve with extra butter if you’re feeling decadent.

Make Ahead Wreath

The wreath can be baked up to 2 days ahead of time. Do not glaze the loaf — let the wreath cool completely, then wrap tightly in foil and store at room temperature. Re-heat the bread at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes, and drizzle with the glaze just before serving.

(Visited 367 times, 1 visits today)


Sunday 24th of March 2019

For my own version, Id like to add dark chocolates since my family has a sweet tooth. I am thinking of just giving this away for Christmas as a food gift. Thanks for sharing!


Wednesday 27th of February 2019

I'm going to bake this one even though it's past xmas already because this looks so good. I want to taste this bread and also at the same time learn how to bake this. Thanks for sharing!


Tuesday 26th of February 2019

This looks awesome! I'll definitely going to try this someday! Thanks for sharing!

White On Rice Couple

Sunday 28th of December 2008

Happy Holidays and New year to you two! XO! It must have been tough to be apart during Christmas. I just can't imagine it. Wow, the video is an amazing example of the wonderful adventures that you both experience! You both have fabulous trips together, maybe a few days apart isn't that bad? :D Thanks for sharing your great trips with us, your beautiful family and your amazing friends! BTW- LOVE the "X" girlfriends!! LOL!!! hahahaha!!!


Sunday 28th of December 2008

Beautiful bread wreath! I am glad it was inspiring - my mom made it for Christmas, too, and we thought it was delicious.

Merry Christmas!