Holiday Breads 2023

If you’re anything like me, you’ve already made your holiday pie plan. You may have even begun to stock up on supplies and ready your recipes for an annual cookie bake-a-thon. But bread, glorious bread, often gets overlooked this time of year. And that’s a shame.

You can roast all the turkeys you want and sure, yes, making a gingerbread house is fun. But this year, we’ll also be making bread. I mean, how could we resist? After all, we’ve created nine new showstopping holiday bread recipes for every occasion, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, including all the cozy mornings and festive parties in between.

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting  Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Slathered with cream cheese icing, these Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls will delight kids and adults alike.

Have you ever tried to decorate sugar cookies with your children? I have, and trust me, it was not pretty. This year, I’m going to play to their (limited, messy) skills and enlist their help slathering tangy cream cheese frosting on these outrageously good Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls, which are like a cross between cinnamon buns and gingerbread cookies. The batch is big, so we’ll have enough to share with our neighbors, too.

Pistachio Cranberry Wreath Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Pistachio Cranberry Wreath makes a stunning centerpiece.

Have you ever brought a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates to a holiday party as a gift for your hosts, only to have it relegated to a pile of similar items in the corner of the kitchen? I have, which is why this year I plan to show up with this stunner, a braided Pistachio Cranberry Wreath that my hosts can enjoy the morning after the party.

Have you spent hours searching for the perfect dinner roll recipe? You can stop now, we have it: It’s these plush Cacio e Pepe Clover Rolls, which take inspiration from the classic Roman pasta and are loaded with black pepper and pecorino Romano cheese. Serve them for Thanksgiving and, if there are any leftover, use them to make supersonic turkey sandwiches the next day.

Rosemary-Scented Baked Brie Bread Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Rosemary-Scented Baked Brie Bread is a tear-and-share dream.

Have you ever put out a platter of crudités at your holiday party, only to have it go uneaten? This will not happen if you anchor your appetizer spread with this Rosemary-Scented Baked Brie Bread, which features a warm pool of brie cheese surrounded by bite-size rosemary-scented rolls, perfect for dipping. Or this Garlic and Herb Sun Bread, with its herbed cream cheese filling, all twisted up in one elegant, sunny, yeasted package. (It looks impressive, but it’s a cinch to make!)

Rolls are all well and good, but have you ever wished for a different sort of bread on your holiday table? Flex your sourdough skills with this nutty, seedy Pumpkin-Sunflower Harvest Bread, shaped to resemble a stalk of wheat (which also makes it a particularly elegant tear-and-share loaf). Or eschew the rolls in favor of a stack of cheese-filled, ghee-slicked Paneer Kulcha from recipe developer Tara O’Brady, which thrum with chilies, ginger, garlic, cumin, and coriander, a wonderful wake-up call in flatbread form.

Latke Focaccia Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Latke Focaccia is the mashup you didn't know you needed.

Have you ever wished there was a recipe that combined the crispy, potato goodness of a latke with the fluffiness of focaccia? Perhaps not until this very moment! But now that you’ve learned Latke Focaccia exists, it’s obvious that potato-encrusted focaccia (made, brilliantly, with store-bought frozen hashbrowns) deserves a spot on your table.

Have you ever dreamt you could make a flaky, buttery pastry at home without, you know, all the work of laminating? If so, give these Faux-Laminated Maple Brioche Buns a spin. A genius trick from recipe author Erin Jeanne McDowell gives you “the look for less,” a rich, pull-apart bun that’s flavored with maple sugar and bakes to lofty heights in a muffin tin. Erin makes them annually for her Christmas morning breakfast; we bet they’ll be the star of your celebrations too.

Faux-Laminated Maple Brioche Buns Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Faux-Laminated Maple Brioche Buns look fancy but are simple to shape.

So dive into our nine beautiful, delectable holiday breads for any (and every) occasion. Move over, cookies, we’ve got some baking to do.

Cover photo by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne.

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The Author

About Jessica Battilana

Jessica Battilana is the Staff Editor at King Arthur Baking Company and an award-winning writer, recipe developer, and ardent supporter of eating dessert every day. She is the author of Repertoire: All The Recipes You Need and coauthor of eight other cookbooks, including Tartine Book 3 with Chad Rob...
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