School is out and offices across the country are winding down, but the nation’s bakers are still in full swing as Christmas fast approaches.
Some are whipping up traditional items such as Christmas puddings and mince pies while others are putting a festive spin on sourdough or making seasonal doughnuts.
Here’s what some of the nation’s bakers have created for the festive season:
University College Birmingham
Bakery students at UCB have been busy this year whipping up delectable treats at their on-site shop. They include Snowman Doughnuts filled with Nutella (left), Traditional Stollen and Santa display breads (pictured right, before baking).
Paul Rhodes Bakery, London
This Fruit Sour from Paul Rhodes Bakery is a sourdough, made with British stone ground organic spelt and wheat flour. It has added figs, apricots, prunes and currants, as well as toasted almonds for texture contrast, and the dough is sweetened with a little grated parsnip and a drizzle of honey.
Frozen food distributor Central Foods has launched individual portions of its most popular roulade flavour. The hand-rolled Menuserve Raspberry & White Chocolate Roulades are filled with whipped cream, raspberry sauce and white chocolate chips.
University College Birmingham
Bakery lecturer Ross Jones helped develop the innovative idea of Stollen Christmas Pie with one of his Level 3 bakery students. The creation merges two seasonal favourites – it sees a butter-rich pastry case filled with a traditional marzipan and stollen filling.
The Crow’s Rest Bakery, Wakefield
Bread Angel Alexandra Vaughan has been whipping up festive Cranberry & Pecan Sourdough loaves (above) as part of a Christmas range. It also includes a Stilton & Walnut Soda Bread and a Chocolate & Date Sourdough featuring cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, dates and chocolate.
The Epsom Bakehouse, Epsom
Rhiannon Abbott from The Epsom Bakehouse, which runs hands-on bread-making classes, has been baking what she dubs “the ultimate Christmas indulgence” – Stollen. Her version features rum-soaked raisins, lemon zest, ground almonds, marzipan and raisins among the ingredients.
These limited-edition Fit Christmas Cakes boast reduced sugar and a high-protein and fibre content. They consist of a light fat-free yoghurt sponge with dried fruit, almonds and cinnamon topped with “I can’t believe it’s not sugar” frosting and sprinkles. They’re 39 calories per mini cake.
Lemon Tree Cakes, London
These beautifully decorated Wreath Cookies are comprised of a vanilla biscuit covered in fondant icing with hand-painted decorations, using edible food colouring. A box of eight hand-painted biscuits costs £25.
Lovingly Artisan Bakery, Altrincham
BIA Baker of the Year finalist Aidan Monks, based in Altrincham and Kendal, has created a Festive Ancient Grain Sourdough loaf. The 24-hour prove loaf is made with ancient grain Einkorn from Gilchester Organics and decorated with flour in the shape of a Christmas tree.
Ma Baker, London
Fulham-based micro bakery Ma Baker has been busy creating a selection of sweet and savoury treats for the festive season. These include Blue Cheese & Walnut Soda Breads (right), traditional Stollen (right) and a Caraway Rye Loaf (centre), perfect for serving with some smoked salmon this Christmas.
Rose Tree Cottage Bakery, Cambridgeshire
Poppy Walker has got Christmas covered with her range of treats. There’s the Christmas Couronne – a sweet crown of dough twisted with mincemeat, a drizzle of icing, cherries and flaked almonds – Cranberry & Camembert Focaccia and a Stilton & Walnut Soda Bread. Also on the menu are Plain White Tin Loaves for making homemade bread sauce.
Blackberry Cottage, Reading
Blackberry Cottage has a range of Christmas puddings on offer this year, each with different boozy flavours. There’s the Ale & Carrot Christmas Pudding, a Rum Cask Cider variant, Stout Christmas Pudding,as well as a free-from version (pictured). The latter is free from gluten, dairy, egg, nut and soya.
Crumb’s the Word Bakery, Reading
Traybake specialist Crumb’s the Word has created a Luxury Vegan Christmas Cake for 2018. Made with organic and Fairtrade ingredients, the cakes have been fed with brandy every two weeks for a matured flavour and feature traditional spice such as mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg alongside a selection of fruit and nuts as well as treacle.