Santa Bread

From The Culinary Couple | Source Taste of Home

Makes 1 loaf.

Ingredients

  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 packages (1/4 oz each) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 raisins
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 to 3 drops red food coloring

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. In a small saucepan, heat milk, water, and butter to 120°-130°F. Add to dry ingredients; beat until moistened. Beat in eggs until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes (or let your electric stand mixer do the work). Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto lightly floured surface; divide into two portions, one slightly larger than the other.
  • Shape larger portion of dough into an elongated triangle with rounded corners for Santa’s head and hat.
  • Divide smaller portion in half. Shape and flatten one half into a beard. Using scissors or a pizza cutter, cut into strips to within 1 inch of top. Position on Santa’s face; twist and curl into beard.
  • Use remaining dough for mustache, nose, hat pom-pom and brim. For mustache: flatten and cut ends into small strips with scissors. Place above beard. For nose: Place a small ball above. For hat: Fold tip of hat over and add another ball for pom-pom. Roll out a narrow piece of dough to create hat brim; position under hat.
  • With scissors, cut two slits for eyes; insert raisins into slits. In separate small bowls, beat each egg yolk. Add red food coloring to one yolk; carefully brush over hat, nose, and cheeks. Brush plain yolk over remaining dough.
  • Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-12 minutes longer, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
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