On Christmas Eve it is a Russian tradition to eat a special bread which is dipped first in honey then in garlic. The honey symbolises the sweetness of life, and garlic the bitterness of life.
This is a very loose interpretation of that tradition – a white plaited loaf topped with honey and garlic butter. I cheated with a packet of white bread mix, but its almost no more work to make your own.
- 1 packet white bread mix
- Luke-warm water to mix
- 20g butter
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp honey
- Make up the bread mix according to packet instructions, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour or more until doubled in size.
- Divide the dough into three equal pieces, and plait together on a baking tray. Preheat the oven to 210°C, and leave the plaited dough to rise again for a further 30 minutes.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped on the bottom.
- In a food processor or pestle and mortar mix together the butter, garlic and honey. Slather (technical term) all over the loaf and leave aside until just before serving.
- Return to the oven for 4-5 minutes until your kitchen smells suitably of garlic, and serve immediately.