For many years my mom has been making Santa Bread each Christmas. This jolly guy not only looks adorable, but he’s made of bread dough, so you get a nice tasty treat (and not a sweet, which is also wonderful when EVERYTHING else seems to be sweets in December). He is really easy to make. This year my mom made him with my little girls. They love to cook with Grandma, and they were so proud of themselves when they created their Santa bread masterpiece.
Here’s what you need:
- Baking sheet
- rolling pin
- pizza cutter
- brushes for applying color (we just use paintbrushes)
- Cutting round (a small, round cookie cutter – donut hole sized)
- bread dough (one loaf made the Santa bread above)
- 2 raisins
- powdered sugar
- red food coloring
Here’s what you do:
You can use your favorite bread dough recipe, or even just buy pre-made bread dough from the store to make this Santa bread.
First, form Santa by dividing the bread dough into two parts, one twice the size of the other. Form the larger piece into the shape of a cone that is a bit rounded on the bottom. This is Santa’s head and his hat together. Place it on your baking sheet. Then roll out the smaller piece to about 1/4″ thickness. From your rolled out dough, cut a strip to form the brim of Santa’s hat using a pizza cutter. Place the strip about halfway down Santa’s head and tuck the ends under the back. Bend down the pointed end of the cone until it touches the brim. Make the nose by rolling a round ball and placing it a bit below the brim of the hat.
Now roll the dough again, to about an 1/8 inch thickness this time. Using the cutting round, make a circle. Cut the circle in half with the pizza cutter. This will become the eyes (underneath the raisin eyeballs). Put them near the nose. Then make the beard by cutting a rectangle or semi-circle long enough to reach across Santa’s face and about 2/3rds the width of the length.
Using the pizza cutter, cut vertical strips almost, but not quite to the top of the long side of the rectangle.
Place the beard on Santa’s chin and arrange the dough so it curls up and twists and turns a bit. Make the mustache by trimming a few long strips of the dough to a good mustache length. Squeeze the strips together and place them under Santa’s nose. Then use a bit more dough to make a ball that becomes the tassle on Santa’s hat. Also add the raisin eyeballs on if you haven’t yet.
Now he’s all ready to rise. Cover Santa up gently with a cloth and let him rise in a warm place.
Bake the Santa bread in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Here he is out of the oven, freshly baked:
Now it’s time to decorate our jolly old elf. Mix up a bit of red food coloring with water. Use a paint brush to paint Santa’s hat red.
Use an almost dry brush to add the rosy pink cheeks and pink nose on to Santa.
Mix some confectioner’s sugar and milk to make a glaze. Glaze Santa’s beard and mustache, and also his hat brim and tassle.
Then add some coconut to his Santa hat brim for a bit more texture.
We made our big Santa bread, and also several smaller ones made with littler bits of bread dough.
Such cute little guys! It was a little sad to cut him up for dinner, but he was too tasty not to. We just use regular bread dough, so it isn’t a sweet bread. It was so delicious and hearty though. There’s nothing like fresh-baked bread, and this one is all the more fun! Hope you enjoy making Santa bread as much as we did. We love this tradition. So thankful for Grandma who is passing it on to my girls!
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