More Christmas recipes to freeze ahead (or make a few days beforehand). The next recipe is entitled Christmas Morning Spiced Bread, and sounds just perfect for either Christmas Morning breakfast or for the frantic chef, half-way through Christmas Lunch preparations, to sit down for two minutes and enjoy a buttered slice with an energising cup of Espresso coffee – well, that’s what I’ll be doing anyway.
Recipe for Christmas Morning Spiced Bread
This recipe for Christmas Morninging Spiced Bread sounds like one of those special recipes that you can prepare well ahead of Christmas, freeze, then just take out however many slices you need for a great spicy comforting moment. I think, because I love the aroma of gentle Christmas spices, I would add some AllSpice berries, ground up into the mix with the Cinnamon.
- 450g strong white bread flour, plus extra for kneading
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 85g light muscovado sugar
- 2 tsp easy-blend yeast
- 200 ml full-fat milk
- 50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 50g walnut pieces, lightly toasted
- 85g raisins
- 1 egg yolk, to glaze
- butter & jam, to serve
- Sift the flour, salt and cinnamon into a bowl. Stir in the sugar and yeast, then make a well in the centre.
- Pour the milk into a small pan, add the butter and warm gently until the butter has melted. Pour into the well, then add the beaten eggs.
- Gradually mix to make a soft, slightly sticky dough.
- Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead vigorously for 5 mins until smooth. Put the dough into a clean bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave somewhere warm for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Lightly butter a 900g loaf tin.
- Punch the air out of the dough and turn it out on to a lightly floured surface again. Knead once more until smooth, then knead in the walnuts ad raisins. Divide the dough into 3 and shape each piece into an oval ball.
- Drop each ball side by side into the prepared tin and cover loosely with oiled cling film. Leave somewhere warm for 30 minutes until the the dough has reached the top of the tin.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to Fan 180C/ Conventional 200C/Gas 6.
- Mix the egg yolk with 1 tbsp of water and brush over the top of the risen loaf. Bake for 20 mins covering loosely with a double sheet of foil once it's nicely browned. Then lower the temperature to Fan 160C/ Conventional 180C/Gas4 and bake for a further 20 minutes. Turn the loaf out of its tin and tap the base - it will sound hollow if the loaf is done. It it doesn't, return it to the oven out of its tin and bake for another 5 - 10 minutes.
- Cool the loaf on a wire rack. Serve lightly toasted with butter and your favourite jam. (Mine will be a spicy fruity one.)
- Once completely cool, the loaf can be sealed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 1 month. If you slice it before freezing you can toast the slices straight from the freezer, otherwise you need to remove the whole loaf from the freezer the night before.
Well, as I have been typing up this Christmas Morning Spiced Bread recipe, I could swear that I can smell the spices and the aroma of a freshly cooked spiced loaf. It is really making me hungry, at just over 6.00 am. This is definitely a loaf (or loaves) that I will be making to stock my freezer with for Christmas, or for anytime of the year. Imagine doing a few hours of gardening, wrapped up tight against all weathers, then coming in, cleaning up, lighting the log burner, hands gradually warming up, and finally collapsing on the sofa with a couple of aromatic spicy slices of this warm, buttered loaf. Heaven!
There will be a lot more Christmas Recipes to Freeze Ahead.