Rose Bread for St. Elizabeth of Hungary


Today, November 17, we celebrate the feast day of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. As a queen she felt that she should care for all her people as if they were her children. She was known for her generosity to the poor. Legend says that on one occasion in the middle of winter she left her castle with her apron filled with bread for the poor. On the way she met her husband. He opened her cape to see what she carried and found her apron full of roses, not bread. When he bent to kiss Elizabeth he found her face transfigured with the radiance of heaven. 

Both roses and bread are her symbols, so as we celebrate her today and recall her charity to the poor, what better way than with a rose shaped bread. Braided bread is associated with many Eastern European countries such as Hungary and while this particular style is referred to as Russian Rose Bread, it seems particularly fitting for St. Elizabeth since it is bread shaped in a rose. It can be filled with either a sweet or savory filling.  
This morning we made a cinnamon rose bread for breakfast. It can be made using a generic bread recipe. In this case I made a sweet bread dough. The recipe and ingredients for this one are similar to those shared a few years ago by Charlotte - Hungarian Cinnamon Bread. The main difference is the shaping technique used to end up with a rose shaped bread here. 

Sweet Roll Dough
1 pkg. dry yeast
½ c. warm water
1/2 c. lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
1/3 c. butter, margarine or shortening
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
3 ½ to 4 c. flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk sugar, butter, salt, egg, and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about 1 ½ hours.

Cinnamon Filling
2-3 tbsp. butter, softened
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon 

Roll dough into large rectangle. Spread butter over dough, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. 
Roll up dough tightly along lengthier side. Pinch edge of dough to seal well. Cut the roll in half lengthwise. 
Starting at the top, cross over the strands in an X, repeat crossover to twist the two lengths together into long braid. 
Wind braided strand into a circle keeping cinnamon slits facing upward. Fan open as needed to create rose/flower petal look. 
Place on bottom of greased springform pan. Add springform pan sides. Let rise until double (30-40 minutes). Bake in 375 degree oven 20-25 minutes. 

Additional idea: Make two, one to keep and one to share, in the spirit of Christian charity of St. Elizabeth. 


St. Elizabeth, pray for us.


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13 comments:

  1. Gorgeous!!! Wow. That's almost too beautiful to eat.

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    1. Thanks. The best part is that it is really so easy to do - just looks hard, but comes out really elegant.

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  2. I agree with Charlotte! This is amazing, Mary! I love it!

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  3. Wow! That's beautiful. I bet it would work a treat as St Rose of Lima bread for my youngest's feast day.

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    1. Yes, I agree - it is a fitting food for any of the rose related saints. I included two St. Roses as well as St. Rita and St. Therese in the keywords for searches. And also the other St. Elizabeth (Isabel) of Portugal who has this pious legend associated with her as well.

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  4. Thank you! We enjoyed making and eating this delicious treat, and it was pretty easy to make!

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    1. Great - glad you liked it. It is deceptively easy, isn't it?

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  5. What book is that in the picture? Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Great question...happy to share. It is a lovely saint book with illustrations from classic art. There are 366 saints/pictures, one for every day. Great way to combine learning about the saints with art appreciation. The title is Saints: A Year in Faith and Art (Rosa Giorgi) - http://www.amazon.com/Saints-Year-Faith-Rosa-Giorgi/dp/0810954990/

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  6. That is absolutely beautiful, thanks for the recipe!

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  7. Thank you! I was planning to make these breadsticks, anyway--http://www.citywifecountrylife.com/2010/12/easy-cheesy-garlic-butter-twisted.html-- and realized they would work perfectly with this idea, because you roll the dough out into a rectangle and put seasonings on it just like that. It didn't look quite so much like a rose (more practice maybe? Or maybe my dough was too wet/gooey?), but it tasted amazing--way better than the breadsticks :)

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    1. Yes, consistency of dough would make a difference. You indicate yours may have been too wet/gooey. It does need to be more firm, yet pliable. That is why recipes for breads often include a range of flour measurement, so you add more or less depending on the consistency of the dough. It can be affected by type of flour used, humidity, etc so that amount varies. Also your recipe did not have egg. Egg tends to be included in the doughs that are used for twisting/shaping. It has a binding affect.

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