Swedish Christmas Plaited Bread

Swedish Christmas Plaited Bread | A Dutchie Baking

It’s that time of year again where people start thinking about Christmas. Well, people like me that is. And people who compete in Christmas bread competitions! Last year, I competed in such a competition as well but didn’t win anything. I’ve applied again and see if I have better luck this time around. I have gone with a Swedish theme, as I love the breads Swedes come up with during December. They are called “lussekatter” and are traditionally eaten during the feast of Saint Lucia. Usually they’re more swirly like these ones but I’ve gone with a plaited bread. It looks stunning but is very easy to do! I’ve also added a lovely crème pat and raisin filling to make it as festive as possible. The gorgeous yellow color is the result of adding saffran – an expensive spice to buy, but we’re allowed to go a little crazy with Christmas right? 🙂

Swedish Christmas Plaited Bread | A Dutchie Baking

Recipe Swedish Christmas Plaited Bread



220 ml full-fat milk
35 grams sugar
0,5 grams saffran
90 grams unsalted butter, softened
350 grams strong white bread flour
6 grams instant yeast
2 grams salt
1 teaspoon ground cardemom seeds
30 grams egg (keep aside the rest for glaze)

Filling & Topping:

250 ml lukewarm full-fat milk
1/2 vanilla pod
50 grams sugar
1 egg yolk
20 grams cornstarch
70 grams rum or cointreau soaked raisins (keep a few aside for topping)
20 grams shaved almonds
  1.   For the dough: grind together the saffran and sugar.  Mix into the milk together with the egg. 
  2.    Mix together flour, salt, sugar, yeast, softened butter and ground cardemom seeds in a bowl. Make sure the yeast doesn’t come into direct contact with the salt or sugar. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients with the machine (fitted with dough hook) running. Knead on setting 2 for about 9 minutes once the dough has come together. Shape dough into a ball and leave to proof in a bowl covered with cling film for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  3. For the filling: mix 2/3 of the milk with the seeds from the vanilla pod and half of the sugar in a saucepan.  Mix rest of the milk and sugar, egg yolk and cornstarch in a bowl. Bring milk mixture to a boil, take off the heat and pour into the egg mixture while whisking. Pour back into the saucepan and bring to a boil while continuously mixing. Leave to simmer for about 30 seconds, then side aside to cool.
  4.  Form the bread: knock the dough back. Roll out to a 30x40cm rectangle on baking parchment or a silpat mat.  Spread the vanilla cream over the middle of the rectangle lengthwise. The width should be a little less than 1/3 of the total width. Scatter some raisins over the vanilla cream, make sure you leave a few for the topping.
  5.  On either side, cut 2 cm strips diagonally.
  6.  Plait the strips over the middle. If you’ve had to cut away a bit of dough, use it to make roses and leaves and place them on the bread.
  7.  Leave the plait to proof for another 20 min. Preheat the oven to 190C.
  8. Glaze the bread with the leftover egg. Decorate with almond shavings and raisins.
  9.   Bake bread for about 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack underneath a tea towel.

Waterford Blaas – Irish Bread Rolls

Waterford Blaas (Irish Bread Rolls) | A Dutchie Baking

The roots of these lovely Irish rolls lie in the town of Waterford. I came to know of these buns while scrolling on one of my favorite Facebook pages: Artisan Bread Bakers. There is a lot of bread on there that I aspire to make! This particular recipe was posted by Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories and it’s a blast to bake ánd eat! The rolls are very fluffy and are great with some butter and cheese. Karen gives the option of eating them with bacon or fries – something I won’t be doing anytime soon 😉 Continue reading →

Pickwick Tea Cookies

Pickwick Tea Cookies | A Dutchie Baking

Tea and the Netherlands are tightly intertwined. For centuries, children have come home from school to be served a hot mug of tea and milk and gossip has been exchanged over dainty cups of amber liquid. They say the Netherlands is a coffee country, but secretly, we couldn’t do without tea. I’ve used a classic Dutch tea brand (Pickwick) in these delicate cookies.   Continue reading →

Vegan Aquafaba Marshmallows

Vegan Aquafaba Marshmallows | A Dutchie Baking

I became a vegetarian many years ago, when I was 11. When I was a kid, I saw the horrible images after the animal diseases had raged through Europe. I won’t go into graphic detail, but the images were imprinted on my brain and I started asking questions of where my food actually came from. This eventually prompted me to give up meat and “dead animals” altogether. I am not someone who is very activistic when it comes to my vegetarianism, but I do think we could do with a little less animal in our diets. Continue reading →