The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Gifts from my kitchen

chouette22's picture

Gifts from my kitchen

These are the gifts we distributed yesterday and today.

The two gymnastics coaches of my daughter got these braided brioches (or Zopf):

And to our three neighbors we gave these:

The same braided stars I had first made for Thanksgiving (but without pumpkin this time). The good thing about making three of these (two yesterday and one today) was that by the third, I didn't need the shaping instructions anymore... :)

Along with the breads, I included some home-made honey-cinnamon-butter and meringues dipped in chocolate-and-toasted-hazelnuts.

This is Luna, our cat. She has abandoned all of her favorite spots in the house and is pretty much to be found under the Christmas tree all day long.

Happy Holidays to everyone on TFL!


janij's picture

I love the stars!  Where did you get the shaping instructions?  And what kind of dough is it?  Lucky neighbors.  All mine got was white bread.

chouette22's picture

You can use any brioche or challah dough, you just need to make sure that it's very soft. If you follow the link in my post, you'll see that I have used Maggie Glezer's recipe for Thanksgiving; this time I used my regular 'Zopf' recipe (which is just like a brioche).

The shape comes from Hamelman’s “Bread” book (p. 314-316). They are six-strand braids. The instructions are excellent, but I kept making a mistake at first and it was driving me crazy. Then I figured out where the 'knot' was and the rest went smoothly.

LindyD's picture

The stars are exquisite and I'm sure the coaches and your neighbors were delighted by such edible artistry!

Are you in southern, mid, or northern Michigan?

I'm 50 miles south of the Straits, keeping one eye on the Christmas Eve forecast and hoping to get my baguettes baked, the car loaded, and on the road before the weather moves in.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

chouette22's picture

And safe travels! You are a lot more north than we are; here in SE Michigan we are expecting only rain until tomorrow. But at this point we have about one inch of snow on the ground (it's a few days old), so at least we are heaving a somewhat white Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas to you as well!

Floydm's picture


Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.


SylviaH's picture

What gorgeous baking! 

Merry Christmas!


Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

There's just something about cats and Christmas trees. Somehow, the ornaments always ended up on the floor :-)

chouette22's picture

... and Merry Christmas to all of you and yours as well!

Broc's picture

Years ago, we gave up making GingerBread Peoples to hand on the tree.  Our cats ate them from the legs upwards!


~ B


ques2008's picture

lovely chouette.  you're a generous neighbor!