The #TwelveLoaves Challenge

I found this challenge over at That Skinny Chick Can Bake. I am only sorry I didn’t find out about it earlier so I could have joined in sooner it’s all based around bread, yeast and quick bread. Recently I have developed a bit of an obsession with sweet rolls. I may have only put one recipe up on the blog so far (Pumpkin sweet rolls) but I have been experimenting with lots of different flavours and techniques. This time with the #TwelveLoaves challenge in mind, I wanted to create Christmas in a roll.


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Christmas Sweet Rolls

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Christmas Flavours

I started off by making a list of some of my favourite Christmas flavours.


Christmas Sweet Rolls


Previously when I have made sweet rolls I have used plain flour (all purpose) and while this has worked well and given me some wonderful results I wanted to try them out using strong bread flour instead and boy were the results worth the extra effort.

Extra Effort?

Because I used bread flour there is kneading involved. If you are lucky enough to have an electric stand mixer with a dough hook there really is no extra effort. If you have to do it by hand (trust me when I tell you this), they are really worth the effort and you will love just how light and fluffy these rolls are 😀


Christmas Sweet Rolls


Having a real bread base for these gives them a lovely light texture.


Christmas Sweet Rolls


A double proving for them is needed but as I assured you they really are worth the effort.

The Filling

Most of the ingredients I used are common Christmas flavours, I used my homemade Sweet Mincemeat, but shop bought works just as well here. I also used sliced up kumquats, there is something so special about their sweet and sour flavour and they are only available at this time of year.


Christmas Sweet Rolls


I added chopped mixed nuts, any nuts can be used but I liked the mixed ones for a variety of flavour, to add a little crunch to them.


Cranberries, fresh or dried ones can be used, they add a lovely burst of colour. Ground cinnamon because it adds wonderful flavour and aroma and I used brown sugar to bring it all together because it caramelises so well when baked.




Christmas Sweet Rolls


I love maple syrup and it complements these flavours so well so I made a very simple maple glaze for the topping.

Christmas Breakfast


I will definitely be serving these for breakfast Christmas morning. I suggest making these the night before; then all you have to do is pop them back in the oven covered with foil so they don’t burn, for around 15 minutes at 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4 to heat them back up.


Christmas Sweet Rolls


Top with glaze and serve them warm and toasty. Then enjoy aromatic Christmas sweet rolls for a festive breakfast.


Merry Christmas everyone I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with family, friends and loved ones 😀


Christmas Sweet Rolls

Christmas Sweet Rolls

A festive take on the classic cinnamon sweet roll, packed with sweet mincemeat, kumquats, cranberries, chopped nuts and cinnamon.
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Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 14 -16 rolls
Author: Emma



  • 200 millilitres milk ((1/2 cup and 1/3 cup))
  • 75 grams unsalted butter ((3/8 cup))
  • 500 grams strong white bread flour ((3 and 1/2 cups))
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes - crushed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 7 gram sachet fast-action yeast

For the filling

  • 150 grams sweet mincemeat ((1/2 cup))
  • 70 grams dried cranberries ((1/2 cup))
  • 65 grams mixed chopped nuts ((1/2 cup))
  • 12 whole kumquats - sliced
  • 60 grams light brown sugar ((1/2 cup))
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the glaze

  • 10 tablespoons icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup


Directions for the dough

  • Gently heat the milk and butter over a low heat until the butter has just melted then remove it from the heat and leave it until it is just lukewarm.
  • Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of your freestanding mixer.
  • Gently beat the egg into the lukewarm milk mixture.
  • Add the yeast to the flour and mix it in, make a well in the centre of your flour.
  • Using your hand or the dough hook on your stand mixer and on a low speed work the liquid into the flour to get a soft but not sticky dough.
  • If working the dough by hand turn it out onto a floured surface and knead thoroughly for 10 minutes until smooth and pliable.
  • If using a stand mixer with a dough hook keep the mixer on a low speed and knead the dough for 4 minutes until you have a smooth and pliable dough.
  • Return the dough to your bowl / take the dough hook out and cover with clingfilm or a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  • After the first prove, punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or press the dough out to a rectangle shape about 24cm wide x 48cm long.


  • Get your sweet mincemeat and spread it all over the dough spreading it to every corner and edge. If you feel you need a little more feel free to add another couple of tablespoons. I found this to be the right amount.
  • Sprinkle your cranberries and chopped nuts evenly over the top of the mincemeat.
  • Thinly slice your kumquats, and evenly spread them over the filling. I found 12 to be the perfect amount but add as many or as few as you desire.
  • Mix the light brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle evenly over the filling.
  • Taking the long edge roll it up as tightly as you can.
  • Take a sharp knife and slice the roll up into smaller rolls of about 1 and 1/2 inches thick.
  • Space them out, cut side up on a baking sheet leaving a little room (about 1/2 an inch) for them to swell. Cover them loosely with a damp tea towel or pop them in a plastic bag and leave them for the second proving for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • You are looking for them to have almost doubled in size and swollen to have filled in the gaps.
  • Towards the end of the second proving preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4.
  • Uncover the tin and bake your rolls for 20 to 25 minutes. You are looking for your buns to be a good golden colour. If you feel they are starting to go too brown, cover with foil and continue baking until cooked.
  • Once baked take them out of the oven and run a round-bladed knife around the edges to loosen them. Then leave them to cool slightly.
  • If eating them fresh once they are cool enough to touch make the glaze. If enjoying them at a later time, make the glaze but don't put it on top of your buns until you have reheated them.


  • Really simple put your icing sugar in a small bowl then stir in your maple syrup, once smooth drizzle on top and enjoy.
  • These will make a wonderful warming aromatic Christmas breakfast, I hope you enjoy them. Merry Christmas 😀
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