Shaping the Christmas Tree
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper this will ensure you can get your master piece off the pan in one piece. To help maintain the shape along the sides of the tree, roll up a clean dish towel and lay it along the side to support the outside rolls as they raise.
- Decide on the size of rolls, and weight them our so they are uniform when baking.
- Place one ball of dough at middle of pan, about an inch from the top edge. Put two balls of dough below that one, off to each side and with about 3/4 of the ball size in space between them. (If the balls are 2" leave about 1 1/2" space.
- Use three balls in the third row, four in the fourth and so on. You should be able to get 5-6 rows on a typical baking sheet if you are using dinner sized rolls.
- For the trunk, shape the final piece of dough into a tiny log, about twice as long as wide. I use about 2 rolls worth of dough.
- Let the dough rise until the balls are touching. You want to proof the rolls until when touched lightly with your finger, it springs back very slowly.
- If you recipe is for a loaf then you will want to bake the rolls at about 25 degrees hotter than the recipe. Usually rolls are baked at 375 to 400 degrees, this will depend on if the bread is a sweet bread. Sweet breads do brown quicker so 350 to 375 degrees is fine. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes.
Decorating Your Christmas Tree
- When bread is baked, cool for a little while, but still warm to the touch.
- If you want it to look like the snow is dripping off the rolls, elevate your pan at the top of the tree a few inches. Drizzle a bit of icing onto the top of each roll and let it drizzle down.
- You can add dried cranberries, apricots, or ginger for color and rosemary if it's a savory dish. Use your imagination anything goes, have fun.
The Kitchen Mage
King Aurthur Flour