A recipe for fresh buns that you can bake in the shape of a tree and use for your table centerpiece.
In a large measuring cup put the warm water and the yeast and let it sit for 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the scaled milk, butter, 1/2 cup sugar and the salt.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast mixture and the beaten eggs.
Beat together with an electric mixer until smooth, add in the flour a little at a time.
Once combined, knead by hand for 10 minutes. Form into a nice ball.
Grease a large mixing bowl with butter and place the dough ball into the bowl, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel.
Leave the dough to rise for about one hour until double in size.
Next, you will punch down the dough, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Now, divide the dough into 17 pieces; form 15 equal sized buns to make up the tree; 1 larger bun for the trunk; and 1 larger bun for rolling out to form the stars.
Use a rolling pin to roll the one ball of dough for the stars to 1/4 inch thick. Use a small star cookie cutter to cut out 9 little bread stars. If there is leftover dough, add it to the ‘trunk bun’.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.
Mix together the melted butter with the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Form the bun tree; the largest bun as the trunk.
Next a row of 5 buns,
Next a row of 4 buns,
Next a row of 3 buns,
Next a row of 2 buns
Top with a single bun.
Be sure to place the buns close together so they will connect as they rise and bake.
Use a pastry brush to brush on the melted butter mixture.
Place the stars on the buns and use the pastry brush to put a final brush of the butter mixture onto the tree and stars.
Cover the bun tree with your clean tea towel and let rise until double in size in a warm spot.
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Once the buns have risen, put into the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. If the buns start to brown too quickly, tent with tin foil part way through the baking.
When baked, remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet.
Next, slide the parchment paper with the bun tree off of the baking pan onto a large cooling rack.
Once cooled,gently slide the bun tree off the parchment paper onto your serving plate.
Decorative with bows or whatever non-edible decorations you like.
Use a sifter to apply the confectioners’ snow.