Holiday Braid Recipe

Holiday Braid Recipe

Ingredients

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast

1 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)

4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 cup butter

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

1/2 cup chopped red and green candied cherries

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1 tablespoon water

GLAZE:

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon milk

Additional candied cherries, optional

How to make it

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in milk. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, lemon peel and cardamom. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add yeast mixture and whole egg; mix well. Stir in cherries, raisins and pecans.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour (dough will not double in size).

Punch dough down; divide into four pieces. Roll three pieces into 15-in. ropes. Braid ropes; place on a greased baking sheet. Divide last portion of dough in half; roll each into a 15-in. rope. Twist ropes. Press an indentation down the center of braided loaf; place twisted dough in indentation. 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 20-25 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack. Combine sugar and milk; drizzle over loaf. Decorate with cherries if desired.
Yield: 1 loaf.