Holiday Wreath Bread!

wreath bread

Tis the season for all things festive! Here is a very simple loaf that is gorgeous and will be the perfect addition to your holiday meal.  Despite its impressive appearance we promise it is easy to make.

You can watch Zoë make the Holiday Wreath loaf and a Panettone on KARE11 Showcase Minnesota.

We will also be doing a book signing at Cooks of Crocus Hill in Edina, MN this Thursday from 6-8:00pm. We’d love to see you all there!

Then on Friday December 12,  Jeff appeared on Fox 9 News at 8:30 am, to mix up more Holiday favorites in five minutes, and he also appeared on WMAR Channel 2 in Baltimore (the ABC affiliate) to show the same breads (click here to view).

Now for the Holiday Wreath Bread, and some Holiday gift suggestions:

Pan D’epi

Start by sprinkling the surface of your dough as it sits in the bucket with flour so it won’t stick to your hands. Master dough with or without herbs (page 25-31), European Peasant dough (page 46), really any dough will work.

Pan D’epi

Pull up the amount you want and

Pan D’epi

cut with a pair of kitchen scissors or a serrated knife a 1-pound piece of dough.

Pan D’epi

Sprinkle with more flour so the cut edges won’t be too sticky,

Pan D’epi

quickly form into a loose ball. This should take about 30 seconds.

wreath bread

Preheat oven to 450° with a baking stone in the center of the oven. Stretch the dough into a ring and allow to rest on a sheet of parchment paper for about 30 minutes.

wreath bread

Right before baking sprinkle the dough with flour. Using kitchen scissors snip at a sharp angle and almost to the bottom of the ring to form points. This is just like the Epi loaf.

wreath bread

Lay the points out away from the ring. Slide the ring and the parchment paper right onto the baking stone and bake for 25-30 minutes or until deep caramel brown.

wreath bread

Happy Holidays! Did someone say “Holiday Gift Ideas?”  Since so many of you have asked about the essentials for baking bread with our method, we decided to list them here as Amazon links (they’re also available in the Amazon “widget” to the left):

A Baking Stone, we like the ones that are a half-inch thick

A Pizza Peel, to slide free-form loves into the oven

An Oven Thermometer, to check if temperature is correct in your oven

A Dough Storage Bucket

…and of course, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (if they don’t already have it)!

Those are the essentials.  If you think of any others, please ask and we’ll find them!

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it with others using one of the social sharing buttons above. Thanks, Jeff and Zoë

70 thoughts on “Holiday Wreath Bread!

  1. I made my first boule tonight and it was fantastic! We are rearranging the fridge to fit the dough bucket – it will become sacred space. One thing I have not seen mentioned is regular bake vs. convection bake. Do you have some thoughts or stats on this? I used convection bake at 445 degrees w/ a stone and the (small) loaf took about 30 minutes. The color was beautiful and upon taking it out of the oven, it sang! Just like you said it would! I have loved baking bread for decades (!) but I think this method and your great recipes will take us into the next many years! I plan to make the holiday wreath tomorrow for our annual celebration w/ friends. Cheers to the New Year!

  2. Convection works great (http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=67); the only reason it’s not in the book is because not everyone has it. Lower the temp 25 degrees F and test the temp with an oven thermometer (my convection setting really “fools” the thermostat). Things bake about 10% faster too, and the crust seems a little better (you may have to turn the loaf around in mid-bake).

    Thanks for all the kind words! Jeff

  3. I made the wreath bread for Christmas for my inlaws and my sister saw it and already requested one for next year. It was beautiful. The panetonne was great. I let it rise overnight and let it sit out for about 45 min. I just made rye baguettes for party pizzas. They look great. I can’t wait to try them tomorrow. Happy New Year!

  4. I made this the other day, using my perpetual batch of dough. It looks so nice and impresses everyone. What a great way to make dinner rolls when you want to impress – just make a wreath and pass that around.

    Thanks for the step-by-step instructions!

  5. That wreath is gorgeous. I just wish I’d seen it before Christmas. At least now I have twelve months to perfect it for next year.

  6. A question about forming the ring — do you turn the ball into a snake and join the ends or create the hole in the center of the ball and stretch it outwards from the center?

  7. Either way works, but we prefer to poke thumbs through the formed ball and then stretch outwards from there. I think that results in a much prettier loaf. The hole has to be about 3 times as wide as the wall of the ring or it tends to close up when it rises and bakes.

  8. Thanks for the book and for turning us non-bakers into bakers (or so my friends think).
    Any suggestions for getting a pizza off the peel onto the stone without making it into a wadded up mess? It still taste great,but every time it looks like a train wreck. Still no more bought pizza for us.
    Thanks and Happy New Year

  9. Ginger: The trick with pizza is to have it spend as little time as possible on the pizza peel, where the flour or cornmeal on the peel gradually absorbs moisture and prevents a good slide into the oven. Get all the toppings ready in advance so it doesn’t spend a lot of time waiting to be topped.

    Then, use more cornmeal or flour. If you must, use parchment or a silpat, though for pizza, I really prefer the crust when it’s right against the stone.

    Then there’s the technique– it’s a sharp flick forward into the oven. Think about directing the leading edge of the peel all the way to the back of the stone. At some point we’ll have to get some video out there on this… Jeff

  10. Pingback: Prepping for guests « Basically Baked

  11. Can we use silipat to rest the dough on and just put the whole thing on top of the pizza stone or on the rack? Would I still use water in the oven too?

  12. Hi, Let me begin by saying I love your book! I am at 4800 feet and am having the time of my life with everything I have tried. As for the high-altitude baking I have followed your book and have had great results.I have a book called the Professional Pastry Chef and this book give guidelines like ( reducing the amount of baking power or baking soda, increasing the amount of liquid, sometimes with additional eggs,egg whites,or yolks, increasing the flour,and using a higher baking temperature.
    I love the wet batter you call for and the more air holes in the bread. I think this along with the higher temperature is really working for me.
    I am looking forward to your book number 2. Ron

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