Sunrise Flour Mill
Put this bread down on the table at a holiday party and you will be sure to turn some heads. But the fun doesn't stop there because once someone takes a bite, the aesthetics will be the last thing they're talking about. The amazing flavor of this bread just took center stage.
I will caution you- don't let anyone take the first bite until you are ready to watch the entire thing disappear. Once someone digs in, I guarantee the others will follow until it's gobbled up.
It’s not just for holiday dinners either. Make this any time you want your table to have that WOW factor.
It looks more difficult than it is so take a chance and try it. Oh, and by all means, please send us photos of your tree bread!
2 ¼ tsp Instant Yeast (one packet)
1/2 Cup warm milk + 1/2 Cup warm milk
Pinch of sugar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 Tablespoons sugar
3 cups Heritage White Flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
Pinch of salt if butter is unsalted
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
In a small mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup of warm milk and yeast. Add a pinch of sugar to encourage the yeast to activate. Mix and allow to foam and activate for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in your stand mixer bowl, add the second ½ cup warm milk, oil, salt, sugar and 1 cup of flour. Mix well.
Once the yeast mixture is foamy, combine the two mixtures.
With your mixer on medium speed, add the remaining 2 cups of flour. Switch from your paddle to a dough hook for the last cup of flour. Mix until a smooth and elastic bread dough is formed.
Leave dough in your mixer bowl, cover with plastic wrap, or a silicone bowl cover. Rest until the dough doubles in size (timing will depend on the temperature of your kitchen- Typically about 1-2 hours)
Heat oven to 375F
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Roll into a large rectangle about 17×12 inches
In a small bowl, combine softened butter, garlic, salt, and Italian Seasoning.
Mark the center of the top of your rectangle. This will be the point of the tree. Cut a large triangle- Start from the bottom corner to the center of the top. Repeat on the other side. You are left with a triangle in the middle of the dough. Remove the outer sides and carefully place aside (see graphic)
Transfer triangle to a piece of parchment paper
Brush 2/3 of the butter mixture on the triangle.
Place the two outer corners side by side to create a second triangle. This will be the top layer of the tree. Pinch the seams together and place on top of the first buttered triangle.
Mark a 1in line down the center of your triangle. Cut horizontal lines across the triangle about 1 inch apart, leaving the middle 1in uncut. This will be the tree's trunk.
Gently pull and twist the strips. The longer strips can have two twists and the short strips can have one. Move the parchment paper to a baking sheet
Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the bread is golden.
After baking- melt the remaining ⅓ of the butter mixture and brush over the top of the bread.
Serve warm with marinara sauce.