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By Odin’s Beard, This Bread Tis Mighty!

Anthony Hopkins as Odin from Thor

I had a lot of white dough left over after making the Deadpool Sweet Rolls. I’d also just seen Thor II. By Odin’s Beard, t’was I thusly inspired to create this pagan-tastic variation on the usual Santa Bread. I mean, I really had to. Just look at what everyone else is making this holiday season:

Santa Bread Collage

Instead of recreating the visage of the world’s greatest holiday stalker, you too can create your own homage to the All-Father with this easy bread.

Odin's Beard Bread - A Holiday Alternative from Kitchen Overlord

By Odin’s Beard!

3/4 cup warm milk
1 tbsp yeast
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp salt
3 ½ – 4 cups bread flour
½ cup apricot preserves
1 large, dried apricot

Mix the yeast into the warm milk until it dissolves. Go look at pictures of Anthony Hopkins as Odin while the yeast blooms.

When you come back, mix in the sugar, salt, and oil. Once those are well blended, add the flour and mix it into dough.

If you have a stand mixer, put it on speed 2 and let it spend the next 6-8 minutes magically transforming these disparate ingredients into a smooth, elastic dough. If you live in a realm with a rather outdated view of any non-weapon’s technology, knead it by hand for 8-10 minutes.

Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for about an hour, or until double in size.

When you come back, smite the dough with a single, firm punch.

Pinch off a couple small knobs of dough. One will become his nose, another his eyebrows.

Cut the rest in half. Roll both pieces into wide ovals. One will be his face, the other his hair.

Generously rain a golden mist of nonstick spray down upon a baking sheet. Now pick one of the ovals and lay it roughly in the middle.

Cut the remaining dough into long, thin strips. Since Odin used to be blonde, rub the strips down with about ½ cup of apricot preserves. This will give his otherwise white hair a faint yellow sheen, just like a blonde gone grey, as well as give it a nice, shiny luster.

Make a long braid from three strips and attach it near his temple.

Use ⅔ of the remaining strips to form his beard. I had a little leftover red dough from making the Deadpool rolls, so I used it for a mouth. Honestly, I think it’d look better with a plain white mouth cut by a line of red food coloring. Use whatever red thing you have around that is the most convenient.

Use the rest of your apricot coated strips to make his bangs and hair.

Make a teardrop shape from one of the leftover nuggets of dough and place it above his mouth. Your All-Father now has a nose.

This Odin likes to sport a pimp-tastic gold eyepatch. I made mine from a dried apricot, carefully flattened out into the right shape.

Since I had some leftover black dough, I used that for his remaining eye. In retrospect, I think I would’ve been a lot happier shaping the eyesocket with my finger and filling it with a nice, fat blueberry.

Finish him off by adding the dough you reserved for his eyebrows.

Now preheat your oven to 375F. Leave the All-Father alone for 40 minutes. You’ve messed with him enough. The man deserves some peace. When you come back, he will have risen somewhat. Put a stop to that before your Odin looks like Volstagg.

Cook the bread for 22-25 minutes. You want to pull it out just before it starts to really brown. After all, Odin isn’t a brunette.

This pull-apart bread is best served hot out of the oven, generously slathered with extra apricot jam. Fair warning, if you make it in advance and let it sit for 24 hours, it will transform from a soft, pliable dough into a tooth-breaking bread sculpture.