PER ITALIANO "Pane Babbo Natale"
Given the fact that we made it through 21/12/2012, we can now start talking about the Christmas and the upcoming new year I suppose :)
We haven't decorated an actual tree this year. Instead, we followed a rather minimalistic path by decorating Ikea's Yrsnö Decoration Stand like an alternative Christmas tree. In our opinion, it looked both simple and chic at the same time, gave a modest Christmas touch, did not take too much of space. It offered us exactly what we wanted for this year. Many thanks to Andrea for the gift, and to Stefano for his project ;)
I prepared a new year message by using only some A4, Kraft paper, scissors, twine and small clothespins and I hung it over the mirror in the dining area. Sure, I needed also a printer to print them all ;) If you'd like to download letter banners and see how it is done in details you can visit this blog. I printed them 50 % smaller.
While Andrea and I had been searching for some holiday season decorations we came across with a page that explained how to make 3D paper snowflakes. We liked it very much so tried the method and found it was very simple indeed. All you need is paper, scissors, tape and staples. You can find the pictures and the video here. Andrea spiced the things up a bit with his creativity and prepared different snowflakes with different designs and sizes for his family and friends, obviously for us too. For that, he used gift papers, put two sheets together and plastified them. He sometimes put different papers together creating a different effect. Among many designs and colors, I picked these white-gray ones.
As you see in the pictures this year our Christmas decorations have been very simple and in pastel colors.
Let's come to the recipe...
Santa Claus Bread has instantly become one of the recipes that visually made me happy the most. It is quite easy to make. It is Thermomix who kneads it anyway :) You don't need to have much of a crafting talent during decoration. I tried to take as many photos as I could. I find photographing extremely important especially for the recipes that you'll need to do some decoration job. Sometimes one single picture is much more explanatory than dozens of words.
25g fresh yeast
100g sunflower oil
50g melted margarine
1 pitted black olive
2 egg yolks
Red food coloring
- Warm milk for 1 minute at 37ºC on Speed 1.
- Add sugar and yeast, mix for 10 seconds on Speed 4.
- Sift in flour. Add oil, salt and eggs. Knead for 5 minutes.
- Transfer it into a large bowl, cover with plastic film. Let it rise for 1.5 - 2 hours.
- Cut some baking paper according to the size of your oven tray
- Divide dough in two equal pieces.
- With a rolling pin shape the first piece of dough into an elongated triangle with rounded corners as in the picture.
- Brush it with some melted margarine.
- Divide the second piece in two. Get the first piece and roll it as big as to cover the beard area of Santa's face, as in the picture.
- Using scissors or a knife cut it into strips leaving 1cm space from the top.
- Carefully place the beard on the bottom of Santa's face. Twist the strips and slightly curl up the ends to shape the beard. Brush with some melted margarine.
- With the remaining dough form Santa's mustache, nose, stripe of the hat and pom pom
- Place the strip of the hat and fold it behind the head
- To shape mustache, get a piece of dough, roll and cut into strips as in the picture.
- Place the mustache on the top of the beard. As we did for the beard, twist the strips. Brush with some melted margarine.
- Fold the hat as in the picture. Get two pieces of the remaining dough and shape the pom pom and the nose.
- Cut pitted olive in two and shape the eyes.
- Brush the bread with one beaten egg yolk.
- Beat the second egg yolk with red food coloring. Carefully brush a bit over the nose and the rest over the hat except the pom pom. (If you'd like put aside the pom pom so that you wouldn't mess it, brush over the hat and then place it back)
- Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven at 200ºC
- Cover with baking paper, reduce the temperature to 180ºC and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Remove the paper. Bake for other 5 to 10 minutes.
I saw Santa Bread decoration here. It was for some sweet kind of bread. I preferred to make it salty so I used a whole different dough.
I wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...