The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Holiday bread

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Holiday bread

Friends in the neighbourhood celebrate Ukrainian Christmas Eve every Jan. 6th, and a couple of times I've been asked to bake the traditional Kolach (bread centre piece). This is an egg bread, done in three stacked braids to represent the Holy Trinity. A space is left in the middle for a fat candle.

I used the recipe on King Arthur Flour for Ukrainian Wedding Bread as this makes a dough that is relatively easy to braid, but still rich enough to be lovely to eat. I made a couple of small changes (two tsp of vanilla instead of the rum flavouring; orange zest instead of lemon, and a little bit of ginger).

Last time I made this the top braid sort of fell into the middle as it rose, so I wanted to support it well. I rummaged around in the baking drawers and found a set of pans that made a perfect stack! That's a pizza pan, a 6" cake pan, a 4" angel food pan and a cannelle form, all sprayed with pan spray.

I made the dough the night before and put it in the fridge overnight. It had to sit for a bit to soften, then I divided it into eight pieces and started to roll and then braid. The bottom two tiers are 3-strand braids, with a 2-strand twist on the top. I ended up not needing the little form on the top.

It baked up beautifully! I let it cool a bit, then carefully inverted it and took the supporting pans out of the middle - easy peasy! And the large candle I had fit perfectly. People told me after that the bread was delicious; unfortunately there weren't any leftovers so I can say for sure. :)

Yippee's picture
Yippee

So beautiful, LL!

Happy New Year!

Yippee

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

What a creative way to solve the collapsing issue! This turned out to be amazing!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Massive and beautiful.  And I agree, a great creative way to help keep its shape.

I love when bread not just tastes great, but when it is also a lovely thing to see.  The old "eat with our eyes before our mouths".

jimbtv's picture
jimbtv

Belated Merry Ukrainian Christmas to you. Although you may or may not be Ukrainian, we can all celebrate!

I too bake kolach over the Christmas baking period. I have to say that your baking form design is in next year's plan for me because my kolach also suffers from collapse. The formula I use adds golden raisins and blanched almond bits. My customers love it.

Thank you for the post.

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

I have made my Challah for festive occasions and had it " wander" downward when I stacked the braids. I shall take your method for sure next time I want a stunning centerpiece. Thank you for sharing such a great fix. c

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Believe me, I laid awake for a couple of nights before making this, thinking of ways to support it while it baked. It's a good thing I have drawers full of various sized pans! :)

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

your friends afe very lucky 😊

happy new year and happy baking

Leslie

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

'cause if you were..

and I wasn't..

I'd definitely propose so I could get some of that Ukrainian Wedding Cake!

Very nice and inventive!

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

But fortunately you're pretty good at baking your own bread! :D

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Your bread is inspirational! Truely a work of art. I can only imagine the effort and work involved.

I get a warm fuzzy feeling, when I consider your joy in giving not only bread but a piece of your soul.

Warm and fuzzy, Dan

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

bread all the way around!  Well done and happy baking in 2018 LL

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

So, does it qualify for your challenge a while back (for a braided centre piece)? :)

Yippee's picture
Yippee

and I was thinking the same...

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

apprentice 2nd class like her!

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Lucy's approval is all I really strive for. :)

KKuz's picture
KKuz

I am new to this site and now am certain this will use up all of my free time... ;)

I use this recipe to make korovai breads, question for you- did you double the recipe to get enough dough for that shape? I always double, but use the same amount of yeast. And after you mixed in the butter, eggs, etc...you put it in the fridge overnight to proof? Thanks! 

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Ummmm, yes, I think I did double the recipe. I'll be baking Wedding bread for my daughter's upcoming wedding (Easter weekend), so I better remember that! And yes, it fermented in the fridge overnight. I did have to let it sit out for a while to soften a bit before braiding it.

And welcome to the site! Yes, I'm sure you will be able to spend vast amounts of time browsing here and bookmarking lots of recipes and tips. :)

KKuz's picture
KKuz

Thanks so much for sharing! Do you find you need to up the liquid with that recipe? I started using more milk because I just found it would turn out rather dry, otherwise. Have you ever made any other shapes/braids/forms with this dough? 

Mic's picture
Mic

That is amazing.  I'm new and have so much to learn.