All over the world, this time of year, people make holiday breads. Everything about their ingredients says celebration: spices and liqueurs that only occasionally leave their place in the pantry, larger-than-usual quantities of butter and eggs, and the prized souvenirs of the harvest–nuts and dried fruits.
Yeast-risen, braided and folded, and sugared and glazed, Christmas breads entice passers-by from bakery windows in Italy, France, Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. And in many homes in those countries, you’ll find dough for a panettone or stollen rising in a windowsill or scenting the air as it bakes with aromas that say “home for the holidays” in a visceral way.
—By Crescent Dragonwagon