Preparation Time: 30 minutes + 1 hour 30 mins proving

Total Cooking Time: 30 minutes


7g sachet dried yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons plain flour

2/3 cup lukewarm milk

3 cups plain flour

1/3 cup polenta

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

2 cup finely chopped fresh tarragon

2 cup finely chopped fresh coriander

2 cup finely chopped fresh pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

2 teaspoons milk


  1. Combine the dried yeast, sugar and flour in a bowl. Add the milk gradually and mix until smooth. Stand, covered, in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until foamy. Sift the extra flour, polenta and 1 teaspoon salt into the bowl. Make a well
  2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 3 minutes, or until smooth. Shape into a ball. Cover and leave in a large, lightly oiled bowl in a warm place for 1 hour, or until well risen, then return to the lightly floured work surface and knead for 2 minutes. Preheat the oven to hot 210°C
  3. Divide the dough evenly into 17 pieces. Knead one portion at a time on a floured surface until smooth.  Flatten and sprinkle a little Parmesan in the centre and fold the dough over to form a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  4. To assemble the tree, place the bread on a greased baking tray in a tree shape, beginning with a row of five balls, followed by a row of four, then tree, two and one balls.
  5. Knead the remaining two balls together and shape into an oval, flatten slightly and place at the base of the tree. Leave, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place for 20 minutes. Brush the tree with milk, decorate with extra papitas, then score the base with a sharp knife or scalpel. Bake for 30 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Stand for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.