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Bread. It’s possibly one of the most delicious and comforting foods known to mankind. Homemade bread also makes for a delectable gift during the holidays. Store bought gingerbread or panettone are so impersonal. Whip up a few loaves of homemade bread to spread holiday cheer.

Here’s my favorite rolled bread recipe for holiday gatherings, along with a few suggestions for homemade homestead fillings.

Ingredients

4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packages)
1/2 cup warm water, heated to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 2/3 cups milk, heated to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons salt
5 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Directions
  • Dissolve yeast in the warm water in your mixer. It should puff up and smell like bread.
  • Add in your oats, milk, butter, sugar, eggs, and salt. Stir to combine.
  • Add in 2 cups of flour and beat for 3 minutes.
  • Slowly add flour until you have a soft dough. Knead with the dough hook attachment for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic.
  • Grease a bowl. Place dough in the bowl and cover it with a moist kitchen towel. Let rise for 1 hour, or until it’s doubled.
  • Punch down the dough and divide in half. Roll each half out into a large rectangle.
  • Add your filling of choice (see below) and sprinkle generously over the dough. See below for filling ideas.
  • Roll the rectangles up and pinch the seams to seal them.
  • Grease two loaf pans. Place the loaves seam-side down into the pans. You may need to layer longer rolls on top of themselves in the pan. That’s fine! It just means you’ll have multiple swirls in your bread.
  • Let rise 40 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bake the loaves for 45 – 60 minutes until they’re golden brown.

Filling ideas

Cinnamon sugar: Combine 1 cup sugar with 4 teaspoons of cinnamon. I like to sprinkle in raisins for texture, but you can omit if you aren’t a raisin person.

Mincemeat: If you grow your own fruit on the homestead, you can make your own mincemeat. Combine three cups of dried fruit (like figs, apricots, raisins, plums, or peaches) with 1 cup orange peels, lemon and orange zest, 2 cups brown sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and top off the mixture with brandy or rum.

Rosemary and lavender: Show off your home-grown herbs with this floral filling. Combine 1 tablespoon ground lavender with 2 cups sugar to create a lavender sugar. Add a sprinkle of chopped rosemary, about 2 tablespoons.

Don’t show up at your holiday party with a boring platter of cookies. Bring a homemade loaf made with hearty homestead ingredients packed with love.

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