Way back before being a crafter was cool I used to watch Martha Stewart. I’m not talking about her swanky talk show based in the beautiful cream and white color studio. I’m talking about the Martha Stewart where she wore overalls and talked in a simpler manner housed what looked like the mix of a chicken coop and log cabin. That is when I first saw her make santa bread. Then a few years ago an old rerun came on and I saw it again. That year I knew I had to make it for our neighbors at christmas and I’ve made it every year since then. It’s so fun, festive and yummy, who can resist? Santa Bread is the perfect edible gift or menu item for christmas day.
To start you need to make your favorite egg bread (challah) recipe. I have a favorite that I plan on sharing soon but today you’ll have to find your own. Make the bread and let it go through the first rise.
Here are my supplies. A baking stone, a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper will do, extra flour, a knife, lemon extract or vodka, egg bread after the first rise and gel food colors of red and black.
First cut off 1/3 of the dough and sit it to the side. The smaller piece will be all the features and the larger piece will form the face and hat.
Form the larger piece of dough into a giant tear drop shape with an extra long top to the tear drop. Then pull the top back down and to the side as shown.
Now you’re going to start with the features. Pick two small pieces of dough off of the dough you had set to the side. Roll one piece into a ball for the end of the santa hat and one piece into a snake and then flatten it to go across the bottom of the hat. My dough was sticky enough to stay in place but if yours is a little dry you can use an egg wash to attach the pieces.
Now grab two more very small balls of dough and one larger one that you’ll shape more into an oval. Place these in the middle of the face to make the nose and eyes. Since the size of your bread will be different from mine, you’ll just have to guess on the sizes and reroll a larger or smaller amount as necessary.
Now take your remaining dough and flatten it into a large rectangle with your hands that will cover the entire santa face with some overhang. Trim off the overhang and shape it to the face as shown above. Keep the dough that you trimmed off to make more details.
Using the knife, cut vertical lines across 7/8ths of the dough. This will bring detail to the beard. Attach the beard to the bottom of the face.
Right under the nose at the top of the beard, press a clean finger into the dough to form a mouth.
Now use the scraps that you cut off from the beard to form a mustach above the mouth and eyebrows. I also added holly to the hat brim because I had extra dough.
Now he is ready for some color!
On a plate mix a little bit of the food color with vodka or lemon extract. The bread will be flavorless because the extract and vodka both evaporate very quickly so it will not leave behind a taste. This is also why it’s a great medium to paint with on food. Remember less is more and you can go back and add more color if you need it.
I painted with a paper towel barely dipped into the paint. This gives me a lot of control, in my opinion.
Add Pink to the nose and cheeks by dabbing the color on there with the paper towel. . If you didn’t use an egg wash to secure the bread pieces to each other, you can lift the pieces to make sure you don’t accidentally paint the edge of a piece.
Paint the hat red and the eyes black. And then you will have an adorable santa ready to rise a bit more.
Set him out and let him rise for at least 30 minutes before baking according to your recipe.
When you are finished you will have a great Santa Bread Loaf to present to those that you love and cherish (or your boss) for christmas.
If you love this project will you Pin it to your christmas boards or Stumble it? Thank you!