The perfect sharing starter recipe for hungry mouths, this will be a show stopper and a real conversation starter. Cover in pomegranate seeds and rosemary to create the baubles and leaves of a real Christmas tree.
Start by making your dough. Add the sugar, yeast, and water together into your stand mixer bowl. Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy.
Add the flour and salt and turn on the stand mixer to a low/medium speed with the dough attachment. Beat together for 3-4 minutes, then add the beaten egg and butter.
Knead for a further 5 minutes until you have a smooth, soft dough.
If you are worried your dough is looking too sticky, you can add a few tablespoons of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until your dough looks smoother.
Transfer your dough into a lightly greased large mixing bowl, and cover with greased cling film. This will stop the expanded dough from sticking to the cling film and will guarantee a smoother transition from bowl to work surface.
Place in a warm area of your house (or place into your oven with just the light on) to rise for at least 1 ½ hour. You want the mixture to have doubled in size.
Line a large flat baking sheet with parchment paper.
Once your dough has risen, break equal ball sized pieces off (aim for the size of a golf ball) and using the palm of your hand, flatten them.
Add a little mozzarella cube and gruyere cheese into the centre, and bring the edges up, pinching them together and roll back into balls. Place onto your prepared baking tray, forming the shape of a Christmas Tree, allowing a little space between each dough ball.
Cover the dough balls loosely with more greased cling film and allow to rise again for half an hour.
Preheat your oven to 180/160 fan.
Brush your risen dough balls with your beaten egg and sprinkle the dried herbs and salt over each ball. Place into the oven for 20-25 minutes until the bread is golden and cooked through.
Remove from the oven, and cool for at least 10 minutes.
Decorate with pomegranate seeds and sprigs of rosemary before serving.