Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bread Baking Day #15: Festive Breads

Baking bread has been a passion of mine. Its one I’ve followed across the world as I travelled. Apart from baking every so often I have collected a treasury of recipes from family and friends, even bakeries that I have found tucked away in cities I ventured into. On the other hand, this is the first time I am guest hosting a food event. I am taking the baton from Boaz who guest hosted BBD #14 @ Grain Power. Themed Coloured Breads, the roundup can be found at BBD #14: The Roundup.

All the foodies who follow and participate in BBD need no introduction to Zorra @ 1x umrühren bitte. Bread Baking Day is her brainchild and has become a route by which so many bread baking enthusiasts on the web share their incredible enthusiasm, original skills, and fabulous recipes. What a wonderful way to celebrate that most basic of all foods that graces our plates at every meal – bread.

This month it is my honour to host this well followed food event. I had originally intended to make this announcement on 6th December 2008. However, as Zorra and I both discovered Boaz had already completed her colourful roundup, it was decided to advance the announcement to today.

Though December is the last month of the year is also the time for festivals, holidays, and celebrations! Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Tohji-taisai to mention a few, all fall in December. Holidays and festivals bring together families and nothing quite spells togetherness than preparing a festive meal and eating with our loved ones. This year I encourage you to bring your family together for a great bread bake-off. Choose one or more festive breads for the holidays, take some time out, and create a holiday tradition of baking with the family, telling the story of the bread, and its significance for the festival. It could be traditional bread baked by your grandmother, one that you learnt from your travels and always wanted to try at home, or one that is typical to the country you now call home. BBD #15: Festive Breads welcomes them all.

In short, for BBD #15, bring your family and friends together and bake some festive bread for your holiday table. Then share the recipe you chose, why you chose it, and if you were able to make it a family event. The bread can be any shape and size, it may be dry or moist, spicy, savoury or sweet, filled with fruits, nuts, chocolate, almond paste, custard, with icing on the top, flavoured, coloured, its all your choice. Just one request: As this is a vegetarian blog, I would like to ask that all recipes be vegetarian (eggs are OK). Vegan, gluten-free, allergy-friendly recipes are welcome!

After you post your festive bread baking experience on your blog, send your entry to me, at annarasa AT gmail DOT com, with the following information:
  1. Subject line of the email should begin with BBD15.
  2. Kindly include in English the following details:
    Your name
    Your location
    Your website’s name and URL
    Your bread’s name and URL of the posting the bread(s) you chose to make
  3. Finally, attach a 250-pixel-wide photo of your creation.
  4. If your blog is not in English, then please send me a translation of your post in English or create the BBD post on your blog in English.
  5. If you do not have a blog but would like to be a part of this event, please send me your recipe and write-up (with picture, if possible) and I will include it in the round-up.
The deadline for submissions is January 1st, 2009.

I can’t wait to see your entries and I am sure you will have no trouble choosing from the wide variety of festival breads that are prepared annually across the world. There’s Stollen from Germany, Panettone from Italy, Kringle from Denmark and Iceland to name a few well-known ones. But did you know that for Christmas, an anise-flavoured Christopsomo, or ‘Christ’s bread’, is baked in the Mediterranean countries, while Julebrod which combines the sharp fresh flavour of citron with sweet raisins and cardamom can be found in many Norwegian homes. The Swiss celebrate with Birnbrot, a pear-and-nut bread that is laced with kirsch, and the Finnish bake Pulla – a cardamom-spiced bread, along with their famous Joululimppu, a rich, rye bread that contains molasses, fennel, anise and a hint of orange zest. The French break out their Provencal Christmas Bread or Pompe à Huile which is delicately flavoured with orange flower water and confectioners’ sugar and the leaf-shaped, herby while yeasty Fougasse takes centre-stage on many tables. In Sweden and parts of Eastern Europe, St. Lucia Buns & Wreaths bring in the festival of lights, Vanocka is a Czech holiday braid prepared from as many as 7 strands of dough, and aromatic Saffron Buns are served in India. The very fruity brioche-like bread called the Cake of Kings is found in much of the English speaking world, while a rich Christmas bread Pan de Pascua is baked in Chilean homes, and the world famous Romavaya baba or Rum Baba can be found in every bakery in Russia. Then there is Sweet Challah Bread, Streusel topped Babka, and Bolo Ring Bread for Hanukkah, and Herbed Corn Bread and Pumpkin Bread for Kwanzaa. I could go on but I’ll leave the rest to you :)

All text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.


  1. I do hope I can bake for this one. I've missed so many now.

    Great theme that everybody can go wild with!

  2. I was waiting for this post. Great theme, perfect for the season. Now I have to figure out what to bake.:)

  3. Thanks Annarasa to host such a beautiful and happy event!
    We feel already festive notes in the air...all our house become warmer and more familiar...we spend much time in decorations and preparations...and this year we'll bake a new wonderful bread just for you and your BBD!
    Have a nice w.e.!

  4. Waiting to see the entries too...will try to bake something..

  5. Great theme! I was anyway thinking of baking festive breads to give away to some of my Christian friends as homebaked breads are a treat and not many do that here - now I will have the joy of sharing it with fellow bloggers too:)

  6. Thanks for hosting Annarasa. Some ideas are starting to bubble here... Let's bake!

  7. Great theme... I have so many ideas but I don't know where to start.

  8. This is such a nice idea ! I hope I will be able to partecipate !!! Ciao and thanks for hosting !!

  9. hey gr8 event will surely try to send something thanks

  10. Wow! What an interesting theme! I have never baked anything before but can't wait to see all the yummy entries. :P

  11. I never knew there were so many different and interesting festive breads out there in world!

  12. Happy New Year!

    Just send you my entry details,

    thanks for hosting

    Ulrike from Küchenlatein

  13. Hi Annarasa happy new year and thanks for hosting :-) ! I sent you my entry some days ago, hope you received it! gine :-)

  14. Naina, your insights on English Muffin Bread are spot on! I recently tried Fresshrise's English Muffin Bread, and it's a game-changer. The perfect balance of crispiness and softness makes each bite a delight. Have you experienced their other bread varieties too? #FresshriseBread


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