Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Impressive Christmas Wreath Vegemite Cheese Bread

Can anyone tell me the purpose of decorating our homes with a pretty Christmas wreath?

Well, it makes our home look pretty??? Hmmm... Maybe Google can tell!

According to Enlighten Me, the wreath is one of the most popular decorations during the Christmas holiday season. They are traditionally hung on front doors as a sign of welcome and have several meanings...

For years and centuries, a Christmas wreath is use to celebrate the arrival of Winter Solstice. In the shape of circles, the Christmas wreaths indicate a meaning of no beginning and no end which symbolizes eternity and strengths using their evergreen to battle against the forces of winter. Hence, the display of the evergreen wreaths on the shortest day of the year symbolizes the end of the shortening days and the anticipation of the coming Spring.

As time passes, the Christmas wreath evolves to be simply a sign of welcoming! It reminds us that Christmas is a season of generosity, giving, and gathering of loved ones.

At down-under, we don't have to celebrate the arrival of Winter Solstice! ... because we are having SUNNY Christmas and summer at this time of the year... but for Christmas, I'm sure that the celebration is kind of universal as all of us are welcoming, generous and giving. Are you?

I got to display a Christmas wreath on our door now!!! LOL!
Just one wreath on our door? Or maybe something more because I do feel a little ungenerous for having just one wreath for Christmas. Not impressive enough?

I want something BIG... Something IMPRESSIVE... Something DELICIOUS... Something that is screaming CHRISTMAS to me!!!

I have an idea! At down-under, we like Vegemite, an Australian spread that is 
is similar to Marmite. Made of yeast, Vegemite is salty, slightly bitter and malty, and rich in umami which similar to beef bouillon and so it usually eaten as a spread for sandwiches, toast, crumpets and cracker biscuits.

Here I have baked a really huge Christmas wreath Vegemite cheese bread to share and celebrate...

Now, tell me... Am I generous and welcoming enough baking this? LOL!

Christmas wreath Vegemite cheese bread
Christmas wreath Vegemite cheese bread
This large bread is great for pinching and sharing... Beautiful for all celebrating occasions.
This bread dough is very easy to handle and can rise very beautifully.
This is the down-under delicacy.
I promise you that its umami taste is superb as it will make this bread very delicious!
If you can't find this in your local area, you can use either Marmite or Bovril or simply softened butter.
You can use any cheese to make this bread but if you are using Vegemite, it is better to use a mild cheese like Tasty cheese which is similar to the Monterey Jack cheese in America.
To shape, roll the dough and fold into a rectangle shape like this and let it rest for 10 mins.
Then, roll it again into a large rectangle and do these.
Remember to transfer this onto the prepared tray before cutting it.
Then, allow dough to prove for 60 mins or until puffy.
Brush the bread with egg wash.
And bake!
See this oozing Vegemite cheese...
... and the spongy bread.
Now, tell me... Am I generous baking this? I'm sure I am!

For this Christmas, my family and I will be driving around Victoria for lots of bushwalking and birds watching and so I'm having a break from blogging until the first week of 2016. I hope that you and your family will have a wonderful Christmas break. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Here's the recipe that is modified a lot from Taste of Home.

The original recipe makes a sweet version of this wreath bread with almond, cinnamon and lots of icing sugar but I reckon this savoury version is the best! 

Make one wreath with ~15 slices

For the bread dough:
1 1/2 cup (375 ml) warm water, lukewarm at 37°C or 110°F, plus 2 tbsp (30 ml) if the dough is too dry
1 extra large egg, at room temperature
40g (1/3 cup) dry milk powder
50g (1/4 cup) sugar
3/4 tsp salt
750g (5 cups) bread flour*
3 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
90g (or 6 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

For the filling:
3 tbsp Vegemite (suitable for vegetarian) or Marmite
If you can't find Vegemite or Marmite, you can use Bovril or simply softened butter
250g grated cheese, preferably mild like Tasty cheese or Monterey Jack

For the egg wash:
1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk

If you prefer a sweet kind of cinnamon almond filling, please refer to the original recipe at here
* The original recipe uses  4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cup and the difference is huge being 150g and says that the dough can be sticky but it is NOT if you uses exactly 5 cups (750g) of flour.

Using a breadmaker, mix all dough ingredients and knead into a smooth and elastic dough and allow it to prove for 1 hr.

If breadmaker is not available, kneading by electric mixer with a dough hook or by hand is possible. Using an electric mixer with low mixing speed (dough can be quite firm and so it is important to use a low mixing speed setting), mix all dough ingredients (except butter) to form a dough first. Then, mix in the unsalted butter and keep kneading at low speed until dough is smooth and elastic (at least 20 mins). Transfer dough into a large bowl and cover it with a cling wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 1 hr or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down and allow it to prove again for another 30-40 mins. This is enhance the elasticity of the dough further.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Punch dough down again. On a non-stick surface, roll dough into an 18 x 12-inches (45 x 30 cm) rectangle. Spread a layer of vegemite on the rolled dough. Sprinkle with grated cheese within the rectangle, avoiding 0.5 inch (1 cm) of its edges. Roll the dough like a Swiss roll, starting with its long side; pinch seam to seal.

Place seam side down on the prepared tray. Pinch ends together to form a ring. With a knife, cut from outside edge to two-thirds of the way toward center of ring at 1 inch (2-3 cm) intervals. Separate strips slightly; twist to allow filling to show. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hr.

Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C. Brush dough with egg wash and bake the bread for 20 mins or until deep golden brown. Cover with foil loosely if the bread brown to quickly at the last 5-10 mins of baking

Transfer bread on a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve when it is warm and the cheese is melty.

To store any leftover: Allow bread to cool on a wire rack completely. Wrap in plastic bag removing any excess air around them and keep them in freezer up to 1 month.

Merry Christmas and Happy Baking
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Please note that the linky tool for bake-along is no longer available.

This post is also linked at Cook and Celebrate: Christmas 2015 hosted by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids at here.


  1. Zoe, that's a really gorgeous Christmas wreath! Best of all it is delicious and can be eaten hah..hah... I've not tried Vegemite and I've only had Marmite in Marmite Chicken. So I have no idea what it would taste like just by itself. I'm sure it's good and I am OK with mild cheese. So, I am bookmarking this recipe for a future experiment hee..hee...

  2. That sure looks yummy, Zoe! Happy holidays to you and your family. Sending many virtual hugs and kisses over. xxoo

  3. Hi Zoe,
    Mine was a small size Christmas wreath and wow ! I like this big gorgeous edible Christmas wreath of yours ^-^! Have fun and enjoy your family bonding during this festive season. Wishing you & family a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year !

  4. Yummy and delicious wreath bread. Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year to you and love ones!

  5. This is gorgeous!! I have been wanting to make something like this for a while now!

  6. Oh wow, the pastry is so fanciful! Happy holidays, sweetie! xoxo

  7. Oh, yum! This looks so wonderful! Loads of flavor, and great good looks. Thanks. And Happy Holidays!

  8. Merry Christmas, to you and yours Zoe. I love learning about the wreath in tradition and of course, your wreath cheese bread sounds oh so yummy! Thanks for sharing, Zoe...

  9. MERRY CHRISTMAS to you & your family, Zoe. Enjoy & have a great time !
    Blessings, Kristy

  10. Such a delicious looking festive bread. I love savoury bread. I could eat slices of your bread with a cup of warm tea!
    Merry Christams to you and your family! Have fun with your family!

  11. it looks superb and fancy,... I am bookmarking it...goto to try it

  12. Impressive indeed and certainly looks tasty ! Not really sure about the vegemite though lol

    Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones ! Cheers !!!!

  13. Yummy! I love how it turns out looking! I've never been a huge fan although I don't mind vege or marmite but I need to have it with lots of something else like bread! The cheese oozing out is just fabulous!

  14. Lovely Christmas wreath & very festive ! Have a wonderful holiday & wishing you & your family a Happy New Year ;)

  15. hi zoe, i hv yet to taste any bread with marmite but your wreath looks very lovely and of course tasty too! Happy New year to you, my friend!