Baking for New Years with Your Bread Machine

There are many traditional breads associated with the New Year. Here are some favorites from around the world.

Every New Year’s celebration is a time for sharing and fun. Many bread recipes have emerged to symbolize this time of renewed hope and anticipation. We’re going to explore some traditional New Year’s bread recipes from around the world that often grace the tables of New Year’s revelers.

The first is a Greek Vasilopita bread. Even though it has the word “pita” in the name it’s nothing like a traditional pita. It’s actually a braided bread similar to a Jewish Challah bread and is often topped with large grains of sea salt. Salt is often associated with wealth and good luck and this bread celebrates that tradition and belief. Quite often, a coin was embedded in the bread and the person who found the coin was granted exceptional good luck. We’re going to skip the coin in the recipe because a cracked tooth is not exactly a good way to start the new year.

The second bread recipe is a beer bread. Beer is often associated with New Year’s celebrations and this crisp and hearty bread is great with seafood or any other meal you choose to serve to celebrate the coming new year. It’s also good with beer and tastes great when dipped into a glass of red wine.

Finally, we’re going to make a Horseshoe Egg Bread. The horseshoe is a common symbol of good luck and good fortune for the coming year, and it’s easy to roll this bread into a horseshoe shape.


Greek Vasilopita (New Year Bread) Recipe:


  • 3/4 cup of milk (100 degrees F/38 degrees C)
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of grated orange rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of butter melted
  • 4 1/2 cups of bread flour or all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of bread machine yeast or active dry yeast


  • 1 egg whisked


  1. Add all ingredients to the bread pan in the order indicated and select the dough course.
  2. When the dough course is complete pour the dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut into six equal pieces. Roll of the pieces into ropes of dough about 20 to 24 inches long. Braid the bread into a round loaf and cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. After dough has risen, glaze with whisked egg and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Preheat oven to 375° F./ 190° C. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes and then slice and serve.


Beer Bread Recipe:

It goes without saying that many New Year’s celebrations have their share of beers, wines and spirits. In that spirit, here’s a beer-bread recipe that has a “beery” flavor note and goes great with seafood, cheese and all of those other celebratory foods you may enjoy. You can finish this in the bread machine but we’ll also give you an option to finish in your oven if you want to make a smaller size for individual servings.


  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 cup beer, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast or bread machine yeast


  1. You have two options here. One is to add all of the ingredients to the bread pan in the order indicated and select the white bread course. The Machine will do all the work and in about three hours or more your beer bread will be done.
  2. Another option is to select the dough cycle. Once the dough cycle is complete you can cut the beer bread dough into smaller pieces and shape them into mini loaves and then finish them in the oven. If you do this, cover the mini loaves with plastic wrap and let them rise for 30 to 45 minutes. You may also want to glaze them with a whisked, egg wash. The oven should be preheated to 375° F./ 190° C. and baked for 20 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.


Lucky Horseshoe Egg Bread Recipe:

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In most cultures, the New Year is about the promise of good fortune and good luck. It’s a time to step away from the past and look forward to the future. The horseshoe has often been seen as a sign of luck, and this horseshoe shaped bread evokes that spirit. You can actually make this bread with a variety of bread recipes considering that the horseshoe shape defines the luck and the occasion.

We’re featuring a classic egg-bread recipe here that you put through the dough cycle and then shape into a horseshoe to finish in the oven.


  • 1-1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons of bread machine yeast or active dry yeast


  • 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water


  1. Add the ingredients in the order listed and select the dough cycle. When done, dump the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a horseshoe shape. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30 to 45 minutes. When risen, glaze with the egg and water mixture after whisking them together. Bake in a preheated oven at 375° F./ 190° C. and baked for 20 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  2. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes and then plate and serve.



Bread is All About the New Year

Bread defines the New Year in many ways and you should consider how it can be a part of your New Year celebration. It can serve as a centerpiece for a dip or a way to enclose something as simple as shrimp with our Horseshoe bread. No matter how you slice it, bread makes it better.

Steve Nubie

Steve Nubie has been writing professionally for 38 years. He is a Chef and has traveled across Asia and Europe studying language, culture and cuisine. He instructs culinary classes in the Culinary School at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and has written extensively on cuisine, cooking, diet and nutrition. He is a published author of 10 books including a cookbook and continues to write on subjects related to culinary trends.

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