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Christmas Tea Ring l A sweet bread recipe with fresh eggs, dried fruit and buttery goodness l Homesteadlady.com

Sweet Bread Recipe for Christmas

We usually serve this Christmas night, but it would be appropriate any time around the holidays.  It works well for both breakfast and dessert.  This is a heavy egg bread that will fill your tummy - an ultimate comfort food.  We've altered Tasha's original recipe just a bit to make it a tad healthier, and we hope you'll enjoy it!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Christmas bread, sweet bread
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time-ish 30 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time-ish 1 hour 30 minutes


Ingredients for Christmas Tea Ring

  • 1/2 cup of lukewarm fresh milk
  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. mace
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 Tbs. dry yeast
  • 12 fresh egg yolks at room temperature
  • 3 cups pastry flour
  • 2-3 cups white wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 cups butter softened and cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 cup of marzipan Learn to make your own  healthier version here.
  • 1/2 cup mixed dark and golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots and/or pineapple
  • 1/2 cup Fair Trade chocolate chips optional
  • 1/2 cups toasted pecans optional
  • 3 Tbs. candied citrus peel Learn to make your own here.

Ingredients for Lemon Glaze

  • Zest from two lemons
  • 1 cup powdered coconut or rapadura sugar
  • Milk or cream enough to make finish glaze


Instructions for Christmas Tea Ring Dough

  1. In a large bowl, combine warm milk, coconut sugar, vanilla and spices.  Add the yeast and whisk in rapidly.  Beat in the egg yolks.
  2. Mix 3 to 4 cups of flour with the sea salt.  Add to milk mixture in one cup increments.  If you have a stand mixer, use it now to start working in the flour.  Otherwise, mix dough as long as you can with a strong spoon and then turn out the dough onto a floured surface to knead and work in more flour.
  3. Continue to add flour until the dough is no longer sticky.  If you're using a stand mixer, the dough will be finished when it clears the side of the bowl.  Be careful not to add too much flour or your dough will be dry.  You'll know the dough is done when it has a bit of a shine to it and holds an indent when you press your finger into it.
  4. Roll the dough into a ball and place it into a buttered dish and cover it with a damp towel.  Find a draft free, warm place for your dough to rise for around an hour, or until it doubles in side.  I usually use my dehydrator to keep the temperature around 90F/32C.
  5. After it rises, knead the dough briefly and divide the dough into 2 pieces.  Roll them into logs and let them rest for a few minutes while you prepare the filling.

Instructions for Filling and Fruits

  1. Cream the marzipan with 1 cup of butter until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Roll your logs into large, flat rectangles - like  you would if you were making cinnamon rolls.  Spreade marzipan mixture over the surface of the dough.  Sprinkle the dough with the fruits, chips and nuts.
  3. Roll the dough up lengthwise and pinch the edges closed (again, like you would for cinnamon rolls).  Shape each length into a ring and secure the ends.
  4. Put the rings onto a large baking sheets about six inches apart.  Slash the tops with a sharp knife or scissors and brush the tops with melted butter.  Cover them and raise them for another hour, or until they double in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F/176C.   Bake the rings until they brown on top, usually about 30 minutes.  You can make six rings, if you prefer, instead of two.  The bake time will vary a lot depending on how many rings you decide to make and how big they are.  You want enough air flow around your tea rings so, if you need to use two pans, go right ahead.  Bake them one or two at a time, removing the done ones and allowing them to cool.
  6. When they're entirely cool, frost Tea Rings with the powdered coconut sugar and enough milk to make a glaze.  You'll know it's the right consistency when the sugar is dissolved and the glaze is drippable/pourable but not runny.  We usually omit the glaze since it makes it a bit too sweet for us.  However, it IS super tasty with the glaze - the coconut sugar makes a great maple-flavored frosting.