If the aroma of sweet loaves baking in a warm kitchen during the holidays stirs happy memories, you aren't alone. The tradition of baking is one that many families revive at this time of year. Maybe you watched yeast dough swelling as it proofed to become a magnificent wreath, a braid, or coiled buns. Or perhaps you were permitted to lick the spoon after a sweet, quick bread batter was scraped into the baking pan. And while the bread was in the oven, no doubt you were barely able to wait for it to emerge golden brown, fragrant, and tantalizing.
Such memories yield recipes, and here we share favorites from Western families. In addition, we offer new breads from Sunset's test kitchens worthy of consideration for special events. Each bread makes a memorable addition to a Christmas breakfast, a festive brunch, a grand open house, an afternoon with the family, or a visit with drop-in guests.