As you know, breakfast and brunch are big in our household. I've made my fare share of French Toast and French Toast casseroles (or "Freedom Toast" as hubs calls it) I've taken my Challah bread recipe and reshaped it, just for you! Always dump some extra cinnamon in the dough. What's the holiday season without loads of cinnamon?!
Although it looks rather complicated, it's not too bad. I think that it mostly looks that way from all of the pictures I provided. But I wanted it to be thorough!
For the filling, you can choose whatever you like - there are so many good spreads out there! Of course, I encourage you to make one of mine. Whenever I make apple butter or knockoff nutella, I always put a cup or so in the freezer. You never know when it will be needed!
For the bread:
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen
Scant 1 c. water
1⁄4 c. coconut oil, melted
1 ripe banana, mashed well
1⁄2 tsp. sea salt
1⁄4 c. + 1⁄2 T. organic sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1 c. organic whole wheat pastry flour, like Bob’s Red Mill
2 1⁄2 c. bread flour or organic all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 tsp. bread machine yeast
Load your bread machine as directed by the manufacturer. (For mine, I’m supposed to load it with the liquid ingredients first, then dry, followed by the flour and yeast last. I listed the ingredients in the order that I would put them in.)
Once it’s loaded, plug it in and set it to the “dough” setting. Sit back and relax!
Once it's done, preheat the oven to 375°.
On a well-floured piece of parchment paper, split the dough into two chunks. Roll out one half of the dough into a circle; set it aside with the parchment paper it's on. Roll out the second chunk of dough into another circle (also on parchment paper).
Spread the cup of apple butter on it, like pizza sauce. Layer the second piece of dough on top of the apple butter-covered dough.
Here comes the fun part: using a pizza or pastry cutter, cut the circle into the shape of a tree. Place the excess dough in an oven safe bowl - you can use it to make another loaf of bread, possibly for a breakfast casserole!? Once the tree is cut, make one inch wide cuts on each side of the tree. Twist the dough once, in the same direction.
At this point, you may be looking at your tree and thinking, "Wow, this looks like a hot mess. This will not be pretty." You're most likely wrong. Once it bakes, everything will be good! Have faith!
Cover the twisted dough with a towel and let it rest for 10-20 minutes near the warm oven. When it's ready, bake the bread for 20-30 minutes.
Make a simple glaze with powdered sugar and almond milk. Sprinkle it with holiday sprinkles. Voila! You have yourself a fabulous brunch centerpiece!
Like I said before, this makes a killer French Toast Casserole. Enjoy it with your family and friends!