Bake. Gather. Share.
This time of year, it feels like we turn our oven on and never turn it off. There are so many recipes we want to try, and so many reasons to bake. But this year, it's all about bread.
That's because bread is right for any (and every) occasion. A beautiful pistachio and cranberry brioche wreath that will be the centerpiece of a festive brunch. A plush, fluffy, potato-encrusted focaccia. Soft, icing-slathered buns to eat with coffee. Rings of herbed bread bites at the holiday party, begging to be dipped in melted brie. You can put out as many crudités as you want, and sure, a big roast is always impressive. But bread is what makes holiday meals memorable.
With that in mind we created nine new bread recipes for almost every occasion. What they all have in common is that they are breads to gather around, breads you can bake together and share with friends. They are breads that can anchor a meal, or a morning, or a moment, as we wind our way through these busy weeks on our way to a brand new year.
Pistachio Cranberry Wreath
This braided brioche, enriched with sweetened pistachio frangipane and studded with tart fresh cranberries, tastes every bit as good as it looks (and it’s a stunner!). Make this for a festive holiday breakfast; there’s a gluten-free version, too!
Resembling a latke in both appearance and flavor, this pillowy olive oil-enriched focaccia is encrusted in a crunchy layer of shredded potatoes and onion. (For ease, we use shredded hash browns.) The bread is perfect for a Hanukkah celebration, of course, but we’re hard-pressed to think of a gathering that wouldn’t be made better by this carb-on-carb masterpiece.
Faux-Laminated Maple Brioche Buns
Maple sugar and butter are the magic ingredients in these rich brioche knots. The recipe, from baker extraordinaire Erin Jeanne McDowell, uses a shortcut laminating process: The dough is folded after applying melted butter, creating rolls with an irresistible pull-apart texture. While sweet, they’re not over-the-top; dare we say they could be served with a holiday breakfast or dinner?
Is there anything more appealing than a stack of warm flatbreads? Yes: a stack of warm, ghee-slicked flatbreads stuffed with paneer cheese, ginger, and garlic. Kulchas are a Punjabi bread that are puffed and tender, like naan, and a pile of these on the table, alongside anything from roast turkey to dal makhani, is a sure sign of a feast.
Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing
On Christmas morning (or, really, any cool winter morning), you’ll want one of these rolls in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other. They’re spiced with fragrant allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon, and get a complex sweetness from the addition of molasses to the dough. After they’re baked, lavish them with tangy cream cheese icing. If you want to share, bake them in paper pans and give some to a friend.
Garlic and Herb Sun Bread (Tarte Soleil)
Make this tear-and-share bread the centerpiece of your next party. Durum flour gives the bread its lovely golden hue; it’s filled with a savory mixture of cream cheese, Parmesan, roasted garlic, and herbes de Provence. Best of all, it looks impressive but is easy to pull off, making it the MVP of the holiday recipe circuit.
Rosemary-Scented Baked Brie Bread
Instead of wrapping brie in buttery pastry and baking it, opt to ring the warm, gooey cheese with bite-size rosemary-scented rolls instead — they're just the right size for spreading with molten cheese and popping in your mouth.
Cacio e Pepe Clover Rolls
For all the big meals of the season, these are the rolls we’ll be making. They take flavor inspiration from the classic Roman pasta and are loaded with black pepper and Pecorino Romano. There’s even more cheese coating the exterior of each roll, which bakes into a crispy crust. Can you imagine a post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich on these little rolls? We can!
Pumpkin-Sunflower Harvest Bread
Instead of flowers and candles, run a few loaves of this gorgeous seed-crusted bread down the center of your holiday table, then encourage everyone to break off a piece to enjoy with their meal. Shaped like a wheat stalk, golden from the addition of pumpkin to the dough, and loaded with sunflower seeds inside and out, it’s a beautiful and delicious addition to the table.