Several years ago, when I lived on St. Simon's Island, Georgia, there was a tiny restaurant in village that sold Christmas Kringle and Christmas bread every year at Christmas. They ordered it directly from a German bakery, and to say it was good is an understatement! People would start adding their names to the list in August, and some folks just left their names on the list permanently!
Now, let me tell you, I love bread! All types of bread.....you know how in the old medieval movies, they would show prisoners being thrown into the dungeons and, telling them that they could have nothing but bread and water! Well, my saying has always been, "make sure it is good bread" and throw me in! So, thinking of all that wonderful and delicious Christmas bread I use to buy from that restaurant, and researching all types of Kringle, Stollen, and bread recipes, I decided to try and make a semi-homemade version.
I bought frozen bread dough from Kroger. I let it thaw and rise in a bread pan. While the dough was rising, I placed a cup and half of dried cranberries in water, so they could soften up. Several recipes suggested soaking cranberries, raisins, or what ever type of fruit in rum also, but, I had none on hand. I chopped a cup of walnuts and lightly toasted them in the oven. I then mixed the drained cranberries, toasted walnuts with a 12 ounce container of ricotta cheese, about a teaspoon of fresh grated lemon zest. After mixing all this well, I then added a half cup of powdered sugar to add some sweetness to the mixture. By, this time the dough had risen and I floured my counter and rolled it flat. I then spread the ricotta mixture on the dough and then rolled it back up and placed in a greased loaf pan. I baked it in a pre-heated oven on 350 for about 20 minutes or until bread was golden brown.
When I took it out I brushed it with melted butter and then sprinkled it with powdered sugar and, oh my goodness, it was delicious!
Tastes so good!
I learned several things this go around, one of which is that I put to much of the ricotta mixture into the bread, which made one side of the bread explode out with the mixture, which I didn't show you...lol! I will make it again, and again, I say thank you Mama for my love of cooking.