Christmas tree milk bread (with olive oil & rosemary)


Piece of life

It is already mid-November, and I can’t help but think about the Holidays. I am one of those who wait until December to start decorating, I try to preserve the Christmas spirit for this period only. But it’s been a tough year, and I’m looking forward to this time of year, so maybe I’ll start a little early this time.

I just fall back into childhood when it’s about Christmas. I like to take out the decorations, prepare the gingerbread, and I just love the huge tree that we buy every year, with its unique scent that embalms the house [Hubby has been trying to convince me to buy a synthetic tree for years, but at this point no negotiation possible, natural tree forever].

So even if there won’t be a big family gathering for Christmas 2020, I’m sure it will bring us a lot of joy and, what is most important to me, sparkles in the eyes of my children.

About the olive oil and rosemary milk bread

I will share several recipes for Christmas in the upcoming weeks. Let’s start with those simple rolls made with milk, olive oil and rosemary – a very simple but delicious recipe. And to get into the holiday mood, I simply gave it the shape of a Christmas tree. Sometimes there is only a need for a little twist to make it magical. Everyone will be under a spell, guaranteed.

1/I used rosemary because I love it, and I also wanted to use the few sprigs left on the balcony [it wouldn’t have liked the coming frost]. Feel free to try another herb.

2/I used cow’s milk this time, but you can use plant-based milk without any problem for a vegan version. For baking, my favourite is oat milk.

3/ I like olive oil in bread and buns [and cakes], but another oil would work well, too (grapeseed, avocado…).

Pains au lait, huile d'olive & romarin

Christmas tree milk bread (with olive oil & rosemary)

A flavoured and fluffy milk bread, perfect to serve as an appetizer. Its Christmas tree shape will be perfect for the holidays.
Course: Bakery
Keyword: Christmas recipe, Easy recipe, Holiday recipe
Portions 16 rolls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Temps de repos: 3 hours 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Print Recipe


  • 500 g flour
  • 300 ml milk cow or plant-based
  • 15 g fresh yeast (or 7 g dry yeast)
  • 70 g olive oil
  • 35 g sugar
  • 8 g salt
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary (about 10 g)
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed

For topping

  • milk cow or plant-based
  • 1 sprig of rosemary finely chopped
  • flower sea salt


  • Place the milk, rosemary sprigs and crushed garlic cloves in a saucepan. Heat and remove from the heat as soon as it comes to a slight boil. Pour into a bowl, film and let infuse for 1 hour. Then remove the rosemary and garlic cloves.
    Pains huile olive romarin
  • Mix the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of stand mixer (use the hook).
    Pains huile olive romarin
  • Shape a hole in the center and add the yeast, crumbled, and the infused milk. Knead until the dough begins to form.
    Pains huile olive romarin
  • Add the oil gradually. Continue kneading for about 10 minutes. You should obtain a smooth and homogeneous dough.
  • Cover with a cloth and let rest in a warm place (and away from drafts) for 1h30 to 2h, until the dough has doubled in volume.
  • Then deflate the dough. Form 16 small rolls of the same size. To make it easier, cut the dough in 2, then each half in 2, and finally each piece in 4. Form 15 small balls (see video below) and 1 rectangle.
  • Shape your tree on an baking sheet, covered with parchment paper (or a silicone mat). Start by forming the base line with 5 rolls. Don't forget to leave a small space between each bun as they will rise. Then make a line of 4 buns, then 3, then 2 and finally 1. Place the rectangular bun in the center of the base line to make the trunk.
  • Let it grow for about 40 minutes (always in a warm and draughty place).

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F)

  • Brush the rolls with milk, and sprinkle with flower sea salt and finely chopped rosemary.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, until the breads are golden brown. Allow rolls to cool.


1/ If you have difficulty finding a warm and draughty place, the oven off but with the light on is a good option.
2/ Milk bread freeze very well, I often prepare a double batch and freeze a part of it.

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