A Mozzarella & Garlic Bread Christmas Tree

🎄LG,BE’s 12 Days of Christmas🎄

DAY 1

It’s tiiiiiiime.

DECEMBER! IT’S HERE. & it’s go time.

There was no way I wasn’t going to start with this appetizer because let me tell you right now, you will be making it more than once. If you’re like my friends and family, then you also love snacky bits in any shape, size or flavour soooo when I test-ran this appetizer a few times, it was pretty obvious that it was a slam-dunk.

Everybody loves garlic bread, everybody loves the smell of homemade dough baking, and everybody loves a cute campy Christmas tree, right?

INGREDIENTS

Pizza Dough

  • 1 1/2 tsp of quick rising yeast
  • 3/4 cup of warm water
  • 3/4 tsp of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour

For the Tree (makes about 20 doughballs)

  • 1 medium block of mozzarella cheese (about 200g), cubed
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • chopped fresh parsley, chopped fresh basil
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Flaky salt for garnish
  • Marinara sauce for dipping

For the dough:

This pizza dough recipe has never failed me. It’s quick and only takes about an hour to rise. The results are a soft, pillowy, and pliable dough that makes it very easy to work with. In a mixing bowl, add the warm water and yeast. Mix and allow the yeast to bloom for up to 5 minutes. If your yeast doesn’t turn slightly foamy, it may be considered “dead” — the same can be said if your water is scalding hot. Retry this process if you get no foamy bits!

When the yeast is ready, add the salt, olive oil, and the flour (one cup at a time) and begin mixing together on a medium speed using a dough hook.

TIP: if you are using your hands instead, continue to mix until a shaggy dough forms, and then pour out onto a slightly floured surface and continue to knead until the dough becomes pliable.

Add the next cup of flour and then observe the texture of the dough — it should pull away from the bowl cleanly and be slightly tacky. If your mixture becomes too wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time. If your dough is looking too dry and is not really kneading, add about 2 teaspoons of water.

Knead your dough for 7 minutes. Shape it into a ball and allow it to rest for an hour by saran-wrapping the bowl and keeping in a warm area of your home. Below is a picture of what the dough looks like right after kneading, and after it’s hour of proof time.

Preheat your oven to 450ºF and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Divide the dough into quarters, working with one at a time. Roll the dough into a makeshift rope and use a knife to cut about 1 1/2 inch pieces. Place a piece of mozzarella in the centre and wrap the dough completely around the cheese.

Place the dough balls into a Christmas tree design on the baking sheet allowing them to touch together. Next, swipe the egg wash over the dough and sprinkle with the flaky salt over top. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 18 minutes.

While baking, combine the melted butter, parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and basil and a bit of cracked pepper. Once the dough is out of the oven, use a pastry brush to swipe the butter mixture over top and get ready to droooool. Heat up a bit of marinara sauce for dipping on the side and try not to inhale this too fast.

Peace and good eats, my friends.
-A❁

4 thoughts on “A Mozzarella & Garlic Bread Christmas Tree

    1. Exactly! I was thinking even making a wreath would be really awesome, or Mr. Claus if you wanted to take on a challenge. Super versatile and that pizza dough is really blank canvas for any type of filling!

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