Christmas Marzipan Loaf

You know how there are certain traditions, certain ways of celebrating a holiday or baking a cake that you grow up with and those become the only way? NPR wrote a great piece recently about family food traditions and it got me thinking. For me, the holidays mean a lot of family traditions – ones I know I’ll introduce to my children someday until these ways become their only way. Soon they’ll be that one kid who opens stockings Christmas night instead of morning ha!

Christmas morning wouldn’t be right without a marzipan loaf, served warm on a Christmas plate with a drizzle of lemon icing on top. If you aren’t familiar with marzipan, I’m pretty excited for you to try this. I’ll let you chose, but a mug of candy cane tea does go pretty darn well with it. Just saying.

(Blogging faux pas fixed....see picture below, Happy belated Birthday miss Kyla :)

Christmas Marzipan Bread

Yeast Dough
¼ cup sugar
½ cup warm milk (like 110 degrees or so, I usually just stick a finger in to test it – shouldn’t scald you but should be a bit uncomfortable)
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 cup wheat flour
1 1/3 cups white flour
Pinch of salt
4 Tbs. butter
1 egg, beaten

1 log Marzipan (my favorite is the Odense brand in the shiny foil tube)

¼ cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs. lemon juice
3 Tbs. water

To make yeast dough
Stir 1 tsp sugar into warm milk and sprinkle with yeast. Let stand 5 minutes or until frothy. Stir gently.

Sift flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Melt butter, stir into yeast mixture. Pour into flour mixture with egg, combining to make dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth.

Let rise in a warm place/proof box 30-40 minutes. Grease a baking sheet.

Next, on a floured surface roll out the risen dough to an 18x12 inch or so rectangle.

For filling
Warm marzipan for 10-15 seconds to soften it, then roll it out on the counter. Cut it into 15-20 pieces and evenly distribute it across the rolled out dough. Then roll up tightly, burrito style! Lightly wet ends with water to seal the dough and place that side face down on the pan. Cut the rolled up dough in half.

Cover the breads and let them rise in a warm place for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

For glaze
Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Spoon glaze over warm breads!

Also, I refuse to let go of the holiday music spirit quite yet. If you're in the same boat, be sure to listen to some good tunes both as you're baking and eating. Especially if it's June and you need to get in the spirit, this will do the trick: Warm & Fuzzy Christmas.

Happy New Year & happy eating to all!

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