Thursday, 30 December 2010

Christmas Breads, a Christmas Story & special present

I made some tear and share breads on Boxing Day. At the moment, I'm still at my parents' house in Scotland with Oliver - but we fly back tomorrow. It's fair to say that this has been an eventful trip !

We were due to fly up early on the morning of Christmas Eve. I woke Oliver at 6am and got him ready. My husband and I had our bags packed from the night before, ready to leave first thing that morning. On the realisation that we were about to fly to Scotland and Santa was on his way, Oliver was rather excited to say the least. "Oliver go to Nanny's. Oliver go to Nanny's on plane ! Oliver go now to Nanny's !" he chanted all the way to the airport.

At the last set of traffic lights just before the entrance to the airport, realisation dawned. Steve had forgotten to bring his wallet containing his ID and we were not going to be able to fly without it. Damn and blast ! There was no option but to turn tail and go home for his wallet.... Perhaps Oliver wasn't going to Nanny's and maybe Santa would not come :-(

The roads were really icy and slippy and the return trip home simply took too long. It was impossible to get back to the airport to make the flight - so the only alternative was to make the journey by car.... Approx 8 hours drive versus 1.1/4 hours by plane.

I must say - I really thought such a long car journey would be an absolute nightmare with a toddler.... but Oliver was good as gold the whole way and kept checking whith us that we WERE going to Nanny's.

On Boxing Day, I decided to make some tear and share bread for everyone as a treat... Most especially as I fancied something yummy ! We were meant to go to my aunt and uncle's for Christmas dinner with the rest of the family the previous day, but things didn't exactly work out to plan. Oliver had taken rather poorly again on Christmas eve with fever and vomitting which continued right through Christmas day (and beyond). Thankfully, he was bright enough early in the morning for an hour of opening presents from Santa

My husband and I stayed with Oliver at my parents and had toast and cheese on Christmas day, instead of joining everyone for Christmas dinner

A sick Oliver asleep in front of the television on Christmas day.

My wonderful parents had a very special Christmas present for me which was totally overwhelming. They had created a hard back book of my blog to date - basically a whole year of blogging with all the photos and recipes ! It's such a super thing to have, and extra special to me because there are so many photos of Oliver in it too.

There is an online sharing application which lets me let you all look through it too ! However, it doesn't like me altering the html to centre it on the page for some reason - so apologies for that.

Recipe below is enough for two "special" tear and share style breads.
Bread recipe

1000g / 1kg of strong white bread flour
50 g melted butter
3 x sachets of instant yeast
3 egg yolks
2tbsp of sugar
1.1/2 tsp salt
600ml lukewarm water

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl until they come together. Knead for about 10mins until dough forms a smooth ball and glutens develop. Split into two pieces (or just make 1/2 the recipe !)and put each piece into a bowl covered with oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size.

When the dough has had it's first rise, take one of the pieces at a time and roll it into a long, flat piece - about 600mm long x 200mm deep. Spread the first few inches of the dough with the filling of your choice.

I chose 3 fillings. My first bread was some leftover sweet mincemeat. One half of this bread, I also sprinkled dreid cranberries and broken pecan nuts onto the mincemeat. On the other half, I placed tiny little balls of marzipan.

The third filling (for the second bread) is not shown unrolled - but was a homemade cranberry sauce made with orange zest and sloe gin and finished after cooking with some melted dark chocolate.

Roll up your bread from the long end like a giant sausage - adding more filling as is required along the way. You want the filling to stop about 1" / 25mm before the end so you have some plain dough left to seal the bread. Brush this bare section with a little beaten egg wash or some milk.

Cut the giant bread dough sausages into 2" high sections and stand on a non stick bakeware tray. I like to use a 10" round silicone baking pan mould at home. This gives a really good shape to this type of bread and it comes out looking like a big wheel. Search the blog for bread if you want to see examples.

Leave these to rise for about 30mins before baking. I think they took about 15mins in a 170deg fan oven.

 Sweet mincemeat and marzipan tear and share bread - topped with toasted almond flakes. This can also be liberally dusted with icing sugar on removing from the oven.

Pretty - isn't it ?

Whilst I had a little time "creating" in the kitchen, Pappy (grandad) and Oliver had a snooze...

Well - it's almost all over now ! In under an hour, Oliver and I leave for the airport to fly home. Unfortunately, Oliver is still not very well. Steve (my long suffering husband) drove home on Tuesday and as lovely as our visit here has been, it will also be good to get home.

Sarah-Jane Nash - 30/12/2010


  1. What a sweet picture of Oliver and his grandad. I hope Oliver is well now! Safe travels, and thanks for your lovely recipes. Happy New Year!

  2. happy new year to you all! Tracey x

  3. ˚˛*˛°.˛*.˛°˛.*★* Feliz *★* 。*˛.
    ˛°_██_*.。*./ ♥ \ .˛* .˛。.˛.*.★* Año 2011 *★ 。*
    ˛. (´• ̮•)*.。*/♫.♫\*˛.* ˛_Π_____. ♥ ˛* ˛*
    .°( . • . ) ˛°./• '♫ ' •\.˛*./______/~\*. ˛*.。˛* ˛. *。

  4. Glad you got to Scotland and what a wonderful present that book is!
    Happy New Year xx

  5. oh i hope oliver is well now, such a pic of oliver sleeping on couch...lovely recipe!


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