Merry Christmas…

… from my kitchen to yours! 

Christmas is upon us, and I’m sure you’ve all been cooking up a storm… I’d love to hear what you’ve been making!  I had an unfortunate incident with my oven, and it didn’t work for a week, but it’s up and running again now and I’m trying to catch up on all the baking I’d planned!  

I love baking different types of breads for Christmas gifts – there’s so many interesting variations, and who doesn’t love homemade bread hot out of the oven?  Here’s some of the things I’ve been making to give away as gifts (when the family doesn’t get to them first!)…

Christmas Wreath Bread: I use my Spelt Challah recipe, divide the dough into three (after the first rising) and braid, then form into a wreath shape, rise, and bake.  You can brush it with an egg wash if you want a shiny, golden finish (1 egg beaten with 1 tbspn of milk).  Variation: make a red, white and green wreath by adding finely chopped red capsicum/sun dried tomato/raw beetroot to one strand, and finely chopped green capsicum/spinach/green olives to the other strand!  Or, make a sweet version with sweet brioche dough, and decorate with red and green glace cherries.

 

Filled Brioche Tea Rings:  Make a batch of brioche dough (you can use the one from the Thermomix Everyday Cookbook with these variations…)  I use spelt grain and flour instead of wheat flour, macadamia oil instead of butter and cold rice-almond milk, and mix all the ingredients at once.  Don’t warm the milk – it actually tastes better if you rise it slowly, in the fridge for four hours or even overnight if possible. After rising the dough, roll it out on your breadmat to about 5mm thick, and sprinkle it with chopped hazelnuts and chocolate (dark, dairy free – you can make your own), form it into a ring, and cut it like this with a sharp knife . . .

 

(Tip: after forming it into the ring shape, pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so, and it will be a lot easier to slice!  Brioche dough needs to be kept cold so it’s not too sticky to work with.) 

Next, take each section and lay it over on it’s side, like this…

(This is when it really helps for the dough to be chilled, as it gets stickier the more you work with it.)

 

At this stage, you can wrap the brioche carefully (on its’ tray) in plastic bags, and freeze it to bake later.  I like to prepare this ahead and bake it on Christmas morning for a yummy brunch! 

(I made some mini ones for presents – you can make two from one batch of dough – they look really cute!) 

When you’re ready to bake the brioche, just thaw it for a while until it starts to rise a little, brush with an egg wash, then place in a cold oven and turn it on to 180 degrees C and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the brioche.  (Make sure you check underneath that it’s cooked.) 

If you’re baking it without freezing it, just rise it until doubled in size and bake in 180 degree oven, 30-40 mins.

 
 

Oops, someone already nicked a bit before I could take the photo!

 
 
 

I also made a fruit and nut filled brioche with cinnamon and rapadura, and sprinkled some more cinnamon and rapadura on top – that was yummy too! 

Herb and Garlic Pull Apart Bread: I just use my usual spelt bread recipe, roll out the dough (after the first rise) and spread it with herb and garlic butter, cut it into strips, roll them up and place them into a baking paper lined springform tin.  Easy!

 

We had a lot of fun making Gluten Gree Gingerbread People too, with icing made from xylitol… I’ll be posting the recipe for that one tonight, hopefully! 

 

My ds (9) made this one into a ‘skeleton’ gingerbread man – pretty funny! 

 

Rapadura-maple syrup toffee:  This is soooo delicious – I used this recipe, from the wonderful website ‘Deliciously Organic’.  I cooked it the traditional way on the stove, since it needs to reach 180 degrees (hard crack stage), which is too hot for the Thermomix.  But I chopped the roasted nuts in the Thermomix, as well as using it to melt the dark chocolate.  This is a must-try recipe!!!

Almond Addiction: This is another favourite from the Festive Flavours (Thermomix) cookbook – but I used rapadura instead of refined sugar, and added 2 tsp of cinnamon – YUM!  So quick and easy…

Well, that’s about all I have photos for at the moment… I’ll be back with some more Christmas cooking ideas later! 

Happy holidays,

Jo xx

 

Do you like my Hydrochloric Acid bottle?  My Grandma sent it to my last Christmas because I collect antique glassware.  Love it!

2 thoughts on “Merry Christmas…

  1. Belinda says:

    Oh wow Jo – how inspiring. When I see your ‘breads’ I think – mmm looks like a great replacement to croissants (which is our family breakfast tradition for Christmas day).

    I have done no Christmas cooking at all this year. We just arrived in Toowoomba to join in with family.

    I brought my TMX with me. I enjoyed cooking dinner enroute for the family – much better than take away while travelling.

    Merry Christmas.
    Belinda

  2. Jo Whitton says:

    Thanks Belinda! Yes, brioche is a good substitute for croissants – the chocolate hazelnut one reminded me of the chocolate filled croissants I used to eat! That’s great to hear you’ve been cooking in your tmx along the way. 🙂 I hope you have a lovely time with your family! Merry Christmas, Jo xx

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