A pull apart Christmas Bread Wreath filled with oozing cheese and pesto will make a great centrepiece for your holiday table.
Perfectly special for that potluck Christmas Dinner, or if you are having friends over for pre-Christmas drinks or a nibble during gift giving on Christmas Day, this Christmas Bread Wreath filled with Cheese and Pesto covers all occasions. Pairs beautifully with my delicious Portuguese bread in the morning.
This is a Flavour bomb!
Because of the oozy mozzarella, cream cheese and pesto inside these little balls of soft brioche, this is an irresistible appetiser. Dip this warm bread into garlicky Tomato Dipping Sauce and you have...a flavour bomb! While I brushed the baked bread wreath with melted butter, you could guild the lily with melted garlic butter just like Jamie Oliver's Tear and Share Garlic Bread.
You are going to love this and your guests will thank you!
Christmas Bread Wreath takes a little bit of time.
First of all, you can make things easier by preparing the Tomato Dipping Sauce the day before. Oh, heck, even a couple of weeks before and freeze it! Just warm it in the microwave or in a small saucepan when you need it. Use good quality, store bought pesto and mix it with the cheeses while you wait for the dough to rise. And really, the actual work time is short. So put up your feet while you wait for the yeast to do it's thing.
How to create the bread wreath.
Creating the bread wreath is easier than you think.
- Divide the risen dough into 25 even pieces.
- Roll each into a ball.
- Take a ball of dough, roll or press into a circle, place a spoonful of cheese filling in the middle and gather up the edges of the dough, pressing well to seal.
- Place ball, sealed side down on a floured surface and roll gently to form a ball.
- Place a small (10cm) oven proof bowl in the centre of the lined pizza tray.
- Arrange 9 balls around the bowl and then the remaining 16 around the first 9 balls forming a wreath.
What if you actually do have leftover Christmas Bread Wreath?
What I really love about this bread, is if you should have any leftovers, store in the refrigerator and the next day it will reheat beautifully either in the oven or in the microwave.
If you've got leftover pesto, try my Pesto Bread. It's so tasty, it'll be gone in a flash!
Most of all, you are going to be amazed at how addictive this Christmas Bread Wreath filled with Cheese and Pesto actually is. Try stopping at just one... I know. When I baked this wreath bread we all had good intentions of restraint but....it didn't work.
Looking for more Christmas recipes? Let me help you.
Crunchy Roast Potatoes
Christmas Ice cream Pudding with Chocolate and Hazelnuts
No Bake Pandoro Christmas Tree Cake
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Christmas Bread Wreath Recipe
To make the dough
- 4 cups (500 grams) bread flour
- 2 tsps active dry yeast
- 2 tsps sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3½ oz (100 grams) butter melted
- 9½ fluid oz (1 cup + 2 tablepsoons/280mls) warm water
- olive oil to grease
- 1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt
- 7 oz (200 grams) mozzarella cheese grated
- 3 oz (75 grams) cream cheese softened
- 3 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
Tomato dipping sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 14 oz (400 grams) can whole tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt to taste
- melted butter to finish
- rosemary sprigs to garnish
To make dough
- In a small bowl place yeast, sugar and a couple of tablespoons of warm water. Allow to stand 10 minutes until foamy'
- In a large bowl place flour, salt, yeast mixture, butter and water. Stir until well combined.
- Turn on floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Wash large bowl and lightly coat with olive oil. Place dough into oiled bowl and turn over to coat with oil.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand in warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- In the meantime make the filling by combining all ingredients in a bowl.
- When the dough is ready, turn out onto floured surface and divide into 25 pieces by weighing the entire dough, divide by 25 and weigh each piece as you break it off.
- Cover dough with a kitchen towel while you prepare the balls.
- Take one ball, roll or press into a circle, place a spoonful of cheese filling in the middle and gather up the edges of the dough, pressing well to seal. Place ball, sealed side down on a floured surface and roll gently to form a ball.
- Repeat with remaining dough and filling
- Line a large pizza tray with non stick paper and preheat oven to 395ºF/200ºC.
- Place a small (10cm) oven proof bowl in the centre of the lined pizza tray. Arrange 9 balls around the bowl and then the remaining 16 around the first 9 balls forming a wreath.
- Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise for 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Brush the wreath with beaten egg. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
Make the Tomato Dipping Sauce
- Puree tomatoes in a food processor or with a stick blender.
- Heat olive and garlic in a medium saucepan until the garlic sizzles. Don't allow the garlic to colour.
- Add tomatoes, oregano, sugar and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer.
- Simmer 15-20 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Remove the bowl from the baked wreath being careful because it is hot. Slide the wreath off the baking paper and onto a serving plate. Brush the bread wreath well with melted butter. Fill small bowl with Tomato Dipping Sauce and replace into the centre of the Bread Wreath. Garnish with little sprigs of rosemary. Serve warm and enjoy.
Nutritional Information Per Serving
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.
Love the look of this recipe.
I am going to try making this ahead of time, do you have any recommendations for preparing earlier and serving later?
Sam, it depends on how far in advance you'd like to prepare this bread. If it's the day before, prepare up to and including step 4. Then place the bowl (covered with plastic wrap) into the refrigerator overnight. The next day, allow the dough to warm up at room temp for an hour or two then proceed with the recipe. The second rise may take longer than 40 minutes due to the dough being cold. Alternatively you could freeze the dough after the first rise then allow to defrost and proceed with the recipe. Frozen dough seems to take a lot longer in the second rise because it is so cold. But it will still work. Just give the dough time to warm up and rise properly otherwise it will be heavy.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
Wow. I wasn't going to bake bread this year for Christmas dinner but I think I might have to give this a go. It looks amazing!
Thank you, Lorraine! It really is delicious with the most tender dough I've ever made. I hope you enjoy it, too!
Such a wonderful combination of flavors. Beautiful dish.
Marcellina In Cucina
Thank you, Ronit! One of my favourite flavour combinations!