Traditional recipes

French New Year's bread recipe

French New Year's bread recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Loaf cake
  • Fruit loaf

In France this yeasted bread with dried fruit is offered to visitors who present their good wishes for the New Year. It's like a brioche with dried fruit.

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IngredientsServes: 12

  • 1 egg
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried active yeast
  • 30g butter, melted
  • 200ml milk
  • For the filling
  • 8 dried figs, chopped
  • 5 dried apricots, chopped
  • 5 dried pitted prunes, chopped
  • 1 handful raisins
  • 12 almonds, sliced
  • 6 walnuts, chopped
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten (for brushing)

MethodPrep:1hr30min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:2hr15min

  1. In a large bowl mix together egg, salt, sugar, melted butter and yeast. Add flour and knead until dough is formed. Cover bowl with a clean tea towel and let rise for 1 hour.
  2. Knead dough to remove any air and roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle with dried fruits and nuts and roll it up, then shape into a crescent, sealing the ends. Place on a baking try lined with greaseproof paper. Cover with a tea towel and let proof until at least doubled in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
  4. Brush bread with egg yolk and bake till golden brown, about 45 minutes.

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Easy French Toast

Learn how to make French toast perfectly every time! Custardy, lightly sweet, and golden brown, it's a delicious weekend or holiday brunch.

This classic French toast recipe is one of my favorite things to make for brunch. Whether it’s Christmas, New Year’s, Mother’s Day, or a regular old lazy weekend morning, just thinking about French toast makes my stomach start growling. What could be more crave-worthy than thick slices of bread with custardy middles, crisp edges, and a mound of fresh fruit on top?

This French toast recipe is delightfully quick and easy, so Jack and I make it whenever we have day-old bread in the house. Still, it has the flavor of a special-occasion treat. The eggs make it nice and rich, and cinnamon and cardamom fill it with warm flavor. Top it with whatever fresh fruit happens to be in season. We use berries in the summertime, but at this time of year, bursty pomegranate seeds are hard to beat.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 (12-oz.) baguette
  • 1 (13-oz.) jar onion jam (such as Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic Onion Jam)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, plus leaves for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic (from 2 garlic cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for sprinkling
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 1 1/4 cups), divided

Preheat oven to 425°F. Using a serrated knife, slice baguette crosswise at 1/2-inch intervals, cutting to within 1/4 inch of bottom of baguette (being sure not to cut all the way through). Place sliced baguette on a rimmed baking sheet set aside.

Heat jam, butter, thyme, vinegar, garlic, pepper, and salt in a small saucepan over medium, stirring constantly, until butter is melted, about 3 minutes. (Makes 1 1/4 cups.)

Using a small spoon or small offset spatula, coat inside of each baguette slice with jam mixture. Stuff 1 cup of the cheese evenly in between slices. Sprinkle top of baguette with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake in preheated oven until cheese is melted and browned in spots, about 7 minutes. Place on a serving platter. Sprinkle lightly with pepper garnish with thyme.


How to bake French Bread

Next, heat up a pan of water on the stove until it boils. While you wait for the water to boil, preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Once the oven is preheated and the water has come to a boil, TURN OFF the oven. Then place the pan of boiling water onto the lower rack of your oven and place your loaf of bread on the rack above. Allow the bread to rise this way until double. This will take about 20 minutes.

The steam that is given off from the water helps the loaf get that nice crust that a good loaf of French bread needs.

Remove the pan of water from the oven and turn the oven on to 425 degrees. Leave the bread in the oven as it is preheating. Bake bread for 10 minutes. The oven will usually have just reached it’s 425 degrees at the end of the 10 minutes. My bread is usually always done at the end of the 10 minutes. If your bread is not done, turn the head down to 350 degrees F and bake for another 5 minutes or until done.

Enjoy a nice, warm loaf of home baked french bread with dinner!

Check Out More of My Easy Bread Recipes:

Did you know I wrote a cookbook? Check out the Holiday Slow Cooker Cookbook for 100 delicious recipes.


Vasilopita (Greek New Year’s Bread)

Growing up, I can&rsquot remember a New Year&rsquos day that didn&rsquot involve Vasilopita. This Greek New Year&rsquos Bread is sweet and moist, baked with eggs and milk, scented with orange zest, and topped with toasty sesame seeds.

It&rsquos brushed with an egg wash before baking and a pattern is carved into it with a sharp knife or razor blade, which results in a gorgeous loaf of bread with a deep, dark, chestnut-brown color.

This is a traditional yeast bread, and requires two rises and kneading. Normally, I&rsquom all about fast, easy recipes, and when I do make bread from scratch I usually use a no-knead bread recipe.

Full disclosure: vasilopita is not very fast to make and it does get a bit messy.

BUT it is relatively easy and it&rsquos such a fun tradition that I love doing it once a year!

Before I get into how to make this bread, there&rsquos one more very special thing about it.

Traditionally, a coin is hidden inside it when it is done baking. It&rsquos slipped into the bottom and then spun around, so the cook doesn&rsquot know where it is either. Whoever gets the slice of bread with the coin has good luck for the rest of the year.

It&rsquos similar to the Western European and New Orleans tradition of a King Cake.

One time when I was little, I got the only coin in the bread for my whole church! I don&rsquot really remember if I was especially lucky that year but I do remember it felt like I won something really, really big.

Eating vasilopita is a Greek Christian tradition that celebrates St. Basil&rsquos Day, or New Year&rsquos Day, but similar traditions are present throughout Eastern Europe.

It&rsquos traditionally sliced into at midnight at the New Year and served to each member of the family in order of age, starting with the eldest. Slices are often devoted to other symbolic people or groups, such as St. Basil or the church.

There&rsquos a rich history involving vasilopita, and you can read more about it here, but I&rsquom going to start to get into how to actually make it! Because eating it is my FAVORITE part.

To start, heat up 1 cup of milk and 1 teaspoon of sugar on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Not too hot! You will add the yeast in the milk. The first time I made this I killed the yeast by heating the milk too high.

It should be between 100-110 degrees (no need to use a thermometer to measure the temperature- you should be able to keep your finger in it and feel warmth, but not burning).

Once the milk and sugar is warm, add 2 packets (or 4.5 teaspoons) of yeast. Whisk until dissolved, cover with a towel and allow to double in size (10- 20 minutes).

Meanwhile, measure 7 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 cups sugar into a the bowl of your standing mixer. You can use a wooden spoon or electric mixer to do this as well.

Stir dry ingredients and make a well in the center. After the yeast is doubled in size, add yeast, 1 more cup of warm milk, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 4 beaten eggs, and the zest of one orange. Mix together until a smooth dough forms (add up to 1/2 cup more flour if necessary).

Knead the dough on floured surface for about 10 minutes (or continue kneading in your mixer if you prefer).

Swirl some oil in the bottom of a large bowl. Place the kneaded dough inside and turn once, allowing the oil to coat the top of the dough. This prevents drying out/cracking when the dough rises. Allow to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until about doubled in size.

When I need to let dough rise, I usually turn on the oven light, turn on the temperature on for 1 minute, allow it to warm up slightly, and immediately turn the heat off. Then, I place the dough in the oven to rise. The residual heat as well as the heat from the oven light will keep a toasty (but not TOO toasty) environment for the dough to rise.

Punch dough down and divide into two. Knead each for a few minutes and form into two balls. Butter two nine-inch round pans and place the dough balls in the middle of each. Place back in a warm area, covered with a kitchen towel, to allow to rise again for about 1 hour.

Man, did I get a lot of new year&rsquos day cleaning done while the dough was rising!

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Once the dough has doubled in size again, use a sharp knife or clean razor blade to carve a pattern in the top of your dough. You can do any design you want, and a lot of people will write out the numbers of the year, or a cross shape, but it&rsquos easy to start with lines that radiate from the center (curved or straight). Then, you can add other lines to connect them.

I got a little fancy and did a vine with leaves coming out from it.

FINALLY, beat one egg and brush the top of each loaf with it to cover it. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (some people use slices almonds instead), and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.

Turn the temperature down to 350 degrees F and bake for another 30 minutes, or until the loaves turn a deep chestnut brown on top.

When they are done, allow them to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then take them out of the pans and allow to cool on a rack. You may need to run a knife along the edge to separate it from the side of the pan.

At this point, you can insert a coin (I usually use a dime since it&rsquos small) through the bottom of one of the loaves, pushing it through with a toothpick or skinny knife.

Yes, this is probably a choking hazard. Watch your little ones!

It&rsquos very easy to cut the ingredients in half to make only one loaf, if you prefer.

I like having this Greek New Year&rsquos Bread with Black Eyed Pea Soup, another New Year&rsquos tradition in the American south.

And if you like this vasilopita recipe, you&rsquoll love these other Greek recipes for Manestra (Orzo and with Beef), Greek Spaghetti, and Greek Green Beans (Fasolakia).


You can fold all the toppings into the rice and it’ll still be delicious—but you won’t get as much of a wow factor.

Clams vary in brininess and the amount of liquid they’ll release during cooking, so you’ll need to adjust the salt and add pasta water accordingly. To prevent the sauce from getting too salty, we recommend a measured amount of salt for the pasta water. If possible, look for an artisanal dried pasta for this recipe—the rougher surface texture will catch the slippery sauce better.


French Bread Rolls are the PERFECT thing to serve with dinner. They’re soft and fluffy on the inside, and crusty on the outside like a French baguette. This is one of my go-to roll recipes because they’re also an incredibly easy yeast bread to make, plus you don’t have to knead it by hand because it’s done entirely in the stand mixer!

I love to serve this french bread recipe for lunch with Classic Minestrone Soup or a Classic Wedge Salad, or for dinner with my Meat Lasagna. This roll recipe also works perfectly with my Sloppy Joe fillings. If you want a more flaky breakfast option you can also check out my recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits!


Begin by measuring the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl, using a spatula mix everything together thoroughly.

Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the water. Now mix to a dough, starting off with the spatula and using your hands in the final stages of mixing, adding a spot more water if there are any dry bits. Continue to mix and press the dough in the bowl for about 1 minute so that the dough is evenly mixed (it will feel little sticky but that’s fine) then put the bowl of dough into a large polythene bag and close it with a clip.

Leave it until it looks as though it has doubled in bulk, which will be about 2 hours at room temperature. After that, punch out all the air, then knead briefly and divide the dough evenly into two. Next roll one piece into a sausage shape about 40cm long then place it on a lightly floured surface and use the heal of your hand to flatten it out to about 12cm wide all the way along.

Now fold one long edge of dough into the centre, pressing it down with your fingertips and do the same with the other long edge. Turn the roll over so that the seam is underneath and place it on a well-greased baking sheet. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

Then place the baking sheet in an oiled polythene bag (you may need two overlapping bags) for about 1¼ hours at room temperature.

Pre-heat the oven to 230°C, gas mark 8. Position a shelf in the top third of the oven for the bread and place a roasting tin in the oven on a lower shelf.

When the sticks have risen, put a kettle on to boil. Then remove the bag and slash each stick diagonally five times with a sharp serrated knife, then dust the loaves with flour. Place them near the top of the oven, and then quickly pour boiling water into the hot roasting tray below (so that it is about 2cm deep). Quickly, but gently, close the oven door and time them for 25 minutes then turn the loaves over and give them a further 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.


All-Star New Year's Recipes

Find out how to keep the party going into the new year with easy recipes and cheery cocktails. Find more recipe ideas on Food Network.

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