Holiday Braid


When I saw this recipe I had to try it – just to try my hand at 6 strand braiding with something tasty.  This festive loaf came out really well – although I still have more “want-to” than “can-do” when it comes to braiding!  Doesn’t keep me from trying though.  The recipe includes simpler braiding directions for you to try.                   
                              Holiday Braid
  1         Package  Instant Yeast
  1         Cup  Warm Milk -- 120°-125°
     ½     Cup  Sugar
  4         Cups  Flour, All-purpose
  1         Teaspoon  Salt
  1         Teaspoon  Grated Lemon Peel
     ¼     Teaspoon  Ground Cardamom
     ½     Cup  Butter
  1         Large  Egg
     ½     Cup  Red and Green Candied Cherries -- chopped
     ¼     Cup  Golden Raisins
     ¼     Cup  Pecans -- chopped
  1        Large  Egg Yolk
  1        Tablespoon  Water
                        Frosting
     ½    Cup  Powdered Sugar
  1        Tablespoon  Milk
             Additional  Candied Cherries -- optional

In large bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt, lemon peel and cardamom.  Cut in butter until crumbly.
Add whole egg;, then warm milk.  Mix well.  Stir in cherries, raisins and pecans.
Turn onto a floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes.  Cover, and let rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.
Punch down dough.  Divide into 4 ropes about 15" long.  Braid 3 ropes.  Divide last rope into 2 pieces and twist.  Place twisted dough in indentation along top of loaf.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Beat egg yolk and water; brush over loaf.  bake at 350° for 20 minutes.  Cover loosely with foil; bake 20 minutes more.  Cool on wire rack.  Combine sugar and milk; drizzle over loaf and decorate with cherries if desired.
To braid a high, 6 strand loaf:
To braid; lay 6 equal 15-16" strands side by side.  Pinch top end.  Braiding towards you, loosely, 
Step 1:  Move second to the right strand to the far left position.
Step 2:  Move the far right strand over 2 strands to the center position.
Step 3:  Move the new second to the left strand over to the far right position.
Step 4:  Move the far left strand over 2 strands to the center position. 
Repeat to end.  Pinch and tuck ends under.  Lift up center of loaf gently if needed to shape loaf.
Transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet. 
  "1 Loaf"

  "Taste Of Home's Holiday Recipes 2003"

1 comment:

  1. You've made a real BEAUTY!!!!!!! I've never tried a braided "goodie", but seeing yours sure makes me WANT to!!!!

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