Holiday Sweet Breads from Sift: pretty delicious.

Sift magazine’s holiday issue showcases all kinds of festive baking, food gifts, and inspiration. We’d like to share our Bread Board feature with you here.

Sometimes the best gift for everyone during the holidays is a little bit of time to sit and connect over a special, home-baked treat. To celebrate the season, we at Sift have toured the world for a collection of festive holiday sweet breads. Take a moment, put down the list, and bake an opportunity for those wonderful moments: a fresh, delicious treat, coffee, and conversation.

holiday sweet breads via@kingarthurflour


This beautiful, snowy-topped bread was a fixture at our house at holiday time. If you remember this fruit-and-nut studded loaf from travels to Germany and want to recreate it, try our Christmas Stollen.  If you’re intrigued, but have never ventured into this kind of bread before, try Our Easiest Stollen. Whichever you choose, you’ll have a memorable treat in store.

holiday sweet breads via@kingarthurflour


A native of Sweden, this tender, slightly lemon-scented braid is typically studded with golden raisins and decorated with almonds, glaze, and candied fruit.

holiday sweet breads via@kingarthurflour


From Sweden let’s cross the Baltic Sea and head inland, to the mountains of Switzerland, to discover their simpler, but satisfying enriched braid. A toasted slice with raspberry jam is just the thing to elevate any breakfast to the realm of extra-special.

Holiday Sweet Breads via@kingarthurflour


It’s a brief, but scenic trip over the Alps to Italy, specifically to Milan, whence comes this beloved bread. Traditionally it towers high, with a majestic crown-shaped top. A well-made pannettone begins with a biga, an overnight starter that ensures that high rise and a moist, delicious, fruit-studded loaf. Baking your own means choosing the fruits you love most; our version also gives you the option of a more even bake, by using a tube pan.

holiday sweet breads via@kingarthurflour Sweet Cheese Coffee Bread

Back on American soil, we’d like to share a couple of breads that are reflective of what we do best: take traditional flavors and find new ways to fall in love with them. Sweet Cheese Coffee Bread captures the flavor and fun of a cheese Danish, in a lot less time and for a lot more people.

holiday sweet breads via@kingarthurflour

Rum Raisin Bread

Last but most definitely not least, Rum Raisin Bread puts a favorite flavor combination into a beautiful bread that is delightful on its own or toasted, and makes an amazing Stuffed French Toast.

Treat yourself. Take some time with those you care about most. Share a slice of holiday sweet bread, some stories, and the best of this time of year with each other. All the best to you and yours this holiday season from Sift.

Susan Reid

Chef Susan Reid grew up in New Jersey, graduated from Bates College and the Culinary Institute of America, and is presently the Food Editor of Sift magazine. She does demos, appearances, and answers food (and baking) questions from all quarters.


  1. Kim W.

    I tried the recipe for the apricot-almond bread in SIFT and was very disappointed at the end result. The filling was way too runny and it was not very smooth even after processing it for longer than the recipe indicated. There was also a large gap between the filling and the top of top of the dough after it was baked. I could not roll the dough up any tighter due to the softness of the filling.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re sorry to hear you had trouble with this recipe, Kim. We are happy to help you troubleshoot so you can get a better result if you choose to try this recipe again in the future. As for the filling, it is important to soak the apricots in boiling water for at least 15 minutes so that they soften adequately. If the apricots are older they may be more dried out and require a longer soak. Once softened and drained, we recommend pulsing the mixture in a food processor until it is smooth and thick. Depending on the strength of your food processor, this may take a few rounds of pulsing and scraping down the sides. As for the large gap between the filling and top crust, try brushing the dough with water before spreading on the filling and rolling the dough tightly. If you dough is very soft, you can fold it over onto itself a few times to help strengthen it a bit. We hope that helps in the future! Kye@KAF

  2. Kerri Bailey

    You forgot Nisua, the Finnish coffee bread. My husbands family came from Finland and his mother and I make it every year.

    1. Susan Reid, post author

      Hi, Kerri. I’m well aquainted with what my husband’s family calls Pulla; I married into a bunch of Finns. I love that bread—so tender and just lightly sweet. We ran out of pages to tell this international bread story. We’ll be sure to circle back to Finland before long. Nekamin SusaN

  3. marlene paccico

    Used half of a five-pound bag of KA flour today. Will go through the rest of that bag and more
    of a second bag. It’s a pleasure to work with your flour and some of KA tools I have.
    Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a blessed new year to all of you wonderful folks.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      To you as well, Marlene! Thank you for your support and we are pleased to be a part of your baking endeavors. Elisabeth@KAF

    1. Susan Reid, post author

      Simply click on their titles; they’re all on the recipe section of our website, and the link will take you right to them. Susan

  4. Kim

    Hefekranz is from Switzerland, not Sweden. I was a little surprised that I’d never heard of it before and then when I got to the recipe, it says it is native to Switzerland. Julekage and Lucia Buns are native to Sweden.


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