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Christmas Tree Bread

Contributed by: NAPSA

Baking Christmas Morning Treats

(NAPSA) - There is a way home bakers can make Christmas morning even sweeter. Imagine waking to the smell of sweet cinnamon in the air-and for one moment, having the anticipation of breakfast rival the anticipation of opening presents. That's the reaction families may have to cinnamon-laced Christmas Tree Bread. This sticky gooey treat resembles a Christmas tree but it's really 16 pull-apart cinnamon buns.

Christmas Tree Bread
The rich, buttery bread captures classic Christmas flavors, but it also offers bakers one more gift for the holidays: It's easy to make. The recipe below calls for Fleischmann's RapidRise Yeast and a batter method requiring no kneading. It also has a convenient cool rise time so people can make the batter the night before Christmas and pop it in the oven before presents are opened.

Ingredients:

  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 envelopes FLEISCHMANN'S Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 egg, large
  • Cinnamon Filling (recipe follows)
  • Powdered Sugar Glaze (recipe follows)
  • Maraschino cherries, optional

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine 1 1/3 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt. Heat milk, water, and butter until very warm (120 F to 130 F). Gradually add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add egg and 1 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in remaining flour to make a stiff batter. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.

Remove dough from refrigerator. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 18- x 16-inch rectangle. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over dough to within 1/2 inch of edges. Fold crosswise in thirds, to enclose filling. Press edges to seal. Cut dough into 16 (1-inch) strips. Holding ends of each strip, tie into a knot. On lower third of large greased baking sheet, arrange 5 knots in a row, with edges touching. Build a tree with additional rows of knot-4 knots in second row, 3 knots in third row, 2 knots in fourth row, and one for top of tree. Place remaining knot at bottom center of tree to make a trunk. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until done. Remove from sheet; cool on wire rack. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Glaze; decorate with mara- schino cherries, if desired.

Cinnamon Filling:

In a bowl, cut 1/2 cup butter into 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 3 tablespoons sugar until crumbly. Stir in 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Powdered Sugar Glaze:

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted, and 1 to 2 tablespoons milk. Stir until smooth.

Serving Size: Makes 1 Tree


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