Happy Bread, or Holiday Bread

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I saw a photo of this bread on Google+ from FoodIva, and in her post she mentioned that she found it at Eva Toteva’s blog, that recipe was in Russian.  Happily for me Iva had spent the time to translate the recipe.  Eva had called it Holiday Bread and Iva called it Happy Bread.  I don’t have a new name for it, so I will use both.

It is a simple enough bread and looks quite fancy when baked, though I am sure mine doesn’t look as good as theirs.  But it will taste good, I am sure.  I am not currently eating bread, so it will have to be passed over to family to eat. It seems the ideal bread for tearing and sharing, with soup or something similar.

I hadn’t planned to bake this today, holding it back for another time, but Amazon failed me yesterday.  I was supposed to get a delivery of lots of chocolate ready for baking.  It is much cheaper to buy chocolate in bulk than to buy it in those little packets in the supermarket.  But Amazon, using their own carrier, cant find my address.  I had the same problem with them 8 months ago and nothing has changed.  If they use another carrier, such as Royal Mail or DPD there is not a problem.  It only happens when they use their own carrier Amazon Logistics.  Most unsatisfactory.  Needless to say full vent to my feelings was given, both by phone and by email.  That elicited all the usual palliatives that mean absolutely nothing, the same ones I received 8 months ago.   Hopefully the chocolate will arrive today and I can get back to my planned bake, Chocolate and Cherry Cupcakes.

Ok, my rant is over and I will get on with the recipe.

Happy Bread/Holiday Bread


  • 2 teaspoons dry instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 100ml warm milk
  • 500g all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading and flouring
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150 ml warm milk (extra)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • 100 g butter, melted and cooled

1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 100 ml warm milk, cover and leave in a warm place to rise 10 minutes.
2. In another bowl, sift the flour and salt together. Make a well in the middle and add beaten eggs into it, the remaining warm milk, olive oil, vinegar and yeast mixture. Knead the dough with your hands or in your mixer until it separates from the sides of the bowl. Remove dough, place on lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until it becomes a soft, pliable dough. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume – about an hour.
3. Punch risen dough and transfer on a floured surface, divide dough into 2 equal parts. Divide each of these again into 4, so you have 8 pieces of dough altogether.
4. Roll each piece of dough out into a roughly rectangular shape with a thickness of 3-5 mm. Brush cooled, melted butter over each piece. Set aside remaining butter for later.
5. Place one piece of rectangular dough over another one and start to roll into a cylinder. Do the same with the rest of the dough; you will end up with 4 cylindrical rolls altogether.
6. Cut each roll into three pieces in this way – slice at both ends of the roll about 1.5 inch long each, and put these two pieces aside. Then cut the middle part of the roll into 4 triangles.
7. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease or line a large baking tray. In the middle of the tray, arrange the cut ends of the rolls around each other to form a circle, placing the cut sides down. Arrange the cut triangles to completely surround the middle circle. Cover with towel and leave the dough to rise in a warm place for about 30-40 minutes.
8. Beat the yolk with the milk with a fork to form a glaze and brush top of the bread with the glaze. (You can sprinkle with sesame seeds or other dry toppings at this point.) Bake bread for 20-30 minutes, reducing the temperature to 160C after 10 minutes in the oven.
9. Brush bread with melted butter as soon as it comes out of the oven, cover with a towel and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before eating.

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