While the bread turned out to be pretty tasty, this was more about wanting to make the bread look like Santa than anything else. And, I think I succeeded. I didn’t quite get it to the exact shape or size that the instructions said but it worked out pretty well. I’d like to say I came up with this but, alas, I did not. I found it shared on Facebook and what I saved references Taste of Home as the source. I didn’t go looking until right now but I found it online. You can read it here.
That will save me from having to re-type all of the instructions. And sorry, I didn’t take pictures step by step. There is a note with the recipe that says you could use frozen bread dough and just make it into the shape you need but I feel that is kind of like cheating. Go big or go home. So I made the dough.
No issues there. It called for two 1/4 ounce packages of yeast and I only had one package plus my jar of yeast. I measured out the package of yeast and found it was a little less than a tablespoon. And then I eyeballed the same amount from the jar. I think it worked fine. And of course, the digital scale I asked for for Christmas came the next day at the family Christmas where I took the bread. Of course. But it’s all good. The bread turned out and I now have my scale for the future.
In putting it together, I couldn’t get the base to stretch out as much as I wanted it to (and the picture showed). It worked, but it would have liked it to be a little longer to have a more defined hat when you flipped it over. You also need to pay attention to how much dough you have left to make the rest. I was going along and then suddenly realized that I did save any to make the brim of his hat. Which resulted in my taking some of the edges of the beard and making the brim.
It calls for two egg whites to give it a wash. I could have probably gotten away with just one, adding the food coloring to what was left over. Or I could have used it all up. But, there really isn’t much you need the red for.
I had tried to make some red cheeks but it didn’t quite work no had gotten a little too much on the nose and it ran over, followed by one of the cheeks running as well. I also just noticed that I made the brim of the hat red. Don’t don’t do that. The brim should be white. I also waited to add the ball of the hat until after I was done with the red since it needed to stay white. I had dipped the ball for the hat in the egg wash rather than needing to try and brush it on. Now that I think of it, that would have been good for the nose. And, the last piece of advice is to make sure that the foil you use to tent it, does not touch. You can see on the top where the foil touched and got stuck.
For serving, I had put this on parchment paper, on the air bake pan. I had plans to do something with it but in the end I just let it cool and wrapped it in plastic wrap, on the pan, and took it. Then left it on the pan. Not especially fancy but it was sure convenient.
A fun little Christmas baking project. While it might look hard, it really wasn’t too difficult to do.