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The Prettiest Food You Can Bake This Holiday

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The holidays are all about celebratory moments, so we paired up with Simply Organic to find recipes you'll want to share with friends (and make again and again).

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Winter is the best time to bake. When the weather turns punishingly bleak, you don’t want to be outside all day. You tromp around—skiing and building snow angels and getting your cheeks ruddy and red—and then darkness falls and you retreat to the comfort of a cozy, brightly lit kitchen.

Cold weather is the perfect excuse for staying inside and trying new recipes. As the holidays approach, I start to crave spices and butter and comfort food. I make baked pastas and soups and as many pies as I can until I run out of flour. I find myself thinking about tradition. 

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Growing up, a sure sign of Christmas nearing was my mother’s annual batch of cinnamon rolls. She’d spend a weekend in the kitchen baking dozens of yeasted rolls with sweet, sticky cinnamon swirls. We’d pile into the car and drop them off with friends as holiday gifts. Everyone, from our closest friends to the cheerful cashier at the feed store, got cinnamon rolls.

   

I don’t try and rival my mother’s rolls. They’d never taste the same, no matter how perfectly I executed her recipe. Their magic lay in the ritual: tying a length of waxy, red ribbon around each one, the cinnamon-scented air of our kitchen, my three sisters vying to sneak a scrap of dough.

Instead, I’m starting my own tradition. I’ve chosen something similar—an intricate yeasted dough—so the ritual feels familiar, but still new. But instead of sweet, I’m going savory.

My holiday bread has a filling of rosemary, thyme, garlic, and cheese. I stir the herbs into softened butter to create a spreadable paste. This quick compound butter, combined with the cheese, melts into a gooey, addictive filling as it bakes. The star shape is inspired by a classic Swedish sweet bread, which looks wildly complicated but I promise is actually easier than shaping cinnamon rolls!

In the weeks to come, I’ll set aside time to make batches of this bread. I’ll wrap them up and present them to my favorite people. And maybe I’ll even buy that same waxy, red ribbon to tie them up, just to make New York City feel a little more like home this holiday.

  

Cheese and Herb Star Bread
Dough adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour

Makes one 10-inch loaf

For the dough:


3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons lukewarm whole milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup potato flour 

For the filling:

1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt

Get the recipe (and print and save it) here.

Photos by Posie Harwood

The holidays are all about celebratory moments, so we paired up with Simply Organic to find recipes you'll want to share with friends (and make again and again). Find more seasonal inspiration for your table here


Our magical menu genie will plan your holiay feast for you.

Tags: cheese, bread, spices