Special Breads for Holidays

Special Breads for Holidays

Ethnic and Religious Traditions Stimulate Holiday Bread Baking

Baking bread from the freshest organic ingredients provides rich rewards.

Many specialty breads can be traced back to agricultural feasts or celebrations related to the seasons of the year or the timing of the harvest or the plantings. When times are good there is reason for celebration and food takes center stage. When work is done and there is time to gather friends and family, from far and near,  breaking bread is integral to the occasions. And bread, of course, is center stage during certain religious liturgies.
With organic ingredients – fresh flour, eggs from the farm, honey from the hive, the bread seems to encourage good health and certainly we can imagine that it carries the goodness of the field, the sunshine, the rain and the joy of the environment.

bread bakeFor Daisy Organic Bread Flour our grain buyer finds the best hard wheat available, from each harvest year, to provide a wholesome, hearty best organic bread flour. Red wheat is often higher in protein than many varieties of wheat. High protein provides a quality that creates  strong dough with good keeping qualities in the loaf.
To make a slightly softer kind of bread product, use Daisy Organic All-Purpose Flour which is a half-and-half mixture of higher-protein Daisy Organic Bread Flour and the slightly sweeter and softer Daisy Organic Pastry Flour.

For most of these sweet breads, the white flour is appropriate. For a heartier, but heavier dough, use some Whole Wheat Daisy All-Purpose Flour. Start with a small proportion of the whole wheat flour and realize that it will require more liquids than the amount absorbed by white flour. At the Annville Flouring Mill, exclusive miller for Daisy Organic Flours, hard wheats for Organic Bread Flour are fairly new to us.

After two centuries of milling only the soft wheats that grow best in southcentral  Pennsylvania, we began to look for a higher-protein wheat to meet the market requests for an Organic Bread Flour that is non-bleached and not artificially enriched. Enrichment comes naturally through the natural goodness of the grains and the flavor  brought about by the environment:  the sun, winds, the rain, and soil that is free of pesticides and other chemicals; they are forbidden in organic certification standards .
Daisy Organic Flour is also kosher, making it perfect for Jewish holiday recipes as well as heritage family recipes brought forth from other cultures. We are told again and again that our Annville Flouring Mill produces the best organic flours on the market.

Let’s take a look at several varieties of bread that take center stage during holidays and special occasions of all kinds. Breads that include eggs in the recipe will be good for serving with dips or fillings that include wet ingredients such as mayonnaise, spreads such as hummus or pates.

challah2 for hbreadChallah
Challah is a braided bread of Jewish tradition and the traditional recipe calls for many eggs and fine white flour. Daisy Organic Flour is the best organic flour for this type of bread because it is fine and soft and gives a finely grained texture. The festive bread is sweetened with honey and brushed with an egg wash to give it the shining, smooth coat.  To take challah finish one step beyond the loaf you see here, it can be sprinkled with sesame or poppy seeds. The seeds are representative of the manna God provided the Jewish people in their trek through the desert after He led them out of Egypt. On the Jewish New Year or Rosh Hashanah, Jewish bakers add raisins to Challah and shape the bread into a crown to represent God’s crown.

hcbuns2 in tray2Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns are spicy sweet. The dough is  made with raisins or currants. Then, after they are baked, hot cross buns  are crossed – marked with an x – on the top with frosting, representing the Cross of the Crucifixion. Traditionally, these buns were eaten on Good Friday in countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada. The United Kingdom expounded on the tradition and added various flavors such as orange or cinnamon. The best organic flour to use for these buns is Daisy All-Purpose Flour for a nice rise in the oven.

focaccia2 for hbFoccaccia
There are two types of Foccaccia. One is salt and the other is sweet. The salt style of Foccaccia is used mostly in Italy and is a type of flatbread, similar to pizza in the United States. It is usually lightly covered with olive oil and herbs. Our favorite Italian guy, Chef Andy Sciaretta made this sweet Foccaccia loaf for us with fresh Rosemary. Sweet Foccaccia is considered an Easter cake and originates from Veneto, a region of northern Italy from whence comes the famous city of Venice. The best organic flour for creating salt-style Foccaccia  is Daisy Organic All-Purpose Flour. To make the higher rise, sweet Foccaccia, try using  some or all Daisy Organic Bread Flour in the recipe because sweet Foccaccia is not so much a flat bread. Yeast is used to make it rise.

cinnamon_bunsCinnamon Buns
Is there any better smell that is so enticing – and says so sweetly, “ We are making something special for the holiday, today?”  These delectable Cinnamon Buns, often called rolls, may have originated in the spice trade during the Greek and Roman periods when cinnamon was a popular commodity. However they came about, they are one of the most popular breakfast foods for a leisurely day with everyone arriving at their own pace to the breakfast table.  Made mostly from flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon, they are very popular throughout the United States and northern Europe. Daisy Organic Bread Flour is the best organic flour for these buns because they are full, fluffy and need to rise properly.

monkey bread1Monkey Bread
For a delightful and sweet dessert – or a sinfully special breakfast treat – try making any Monkey Bread recipe with a mixture of Daisy Organic Flours. Blend together the Daisy All-Purpose Flour and Bread Flour to get the best organic flour combination for some great pull-apart cinnamon and buttery flavored morsels. Monkey bread is mostly known in the United States and is served for breakfast at fairs. Although not considered a tradition for Christmas, this gooey, sweet bread is often served at this time of year. The origin of the term is speculated to have started by the fact that the finished product looks like a monkey puzzle tree. Indeed, the bark of this particular tree looks very similar.

Bobalky is a traditional Christmas Eve bread served in the Slovakia and Ukraine areas. Daisy Organic Flour for Bread would be the best organic flour to make this delicious bread. Ground poppy seeds and honey are added to the mixture. Bobalky looks similar to monkey bread when finished, but the methods of baking are different. Bobalky is cooked first; the ingredients are added later. Monkey bread is cooked all at once. The dough is similar but the finishing is distinct.

Vassilopita is a Greek bread served during the week of each New Year. Also known as Saint Basil’s Bread, it is named after a bishop who lived during the fourth century. The bishop would hide gold coins in cakes that were delivered to the poor. The best organic flour to use for this would be Daisy Organic Bread Flour. Milk and butter are added, along with mahlab flavoring. Mahlab is made from the pits of dried cherries and is often used in Greek sweet breads.

paska breadPaska Bread
Paska bread is a traditional Polish egg bread served at Easter. Daisy Organic Flour All-Purpose Flour would be the best organic flour for this recipe. Its cousin, the eggy bread Challah uses fine white flour and no milk. Eggs, milk and yeast are used to make the paska bread dough so that the texture is just right. The bread has a sweet flavor.

It’s All About Ingredients

There are many traditional bread recipes throughout the world, but they are only as good as the ingredients that are in them. Fresh and all-natural, organic ingredients  underlie the more flavorful taste of bread of every style – sweet, egg, spice-laden or salty. Using fresh ingredients such as organic flour will make bread-baking a rewarding experience. Daisy Flour has the best organic flours to offer for making your holiday breads richer and healthier.