Our family can't wait for Christmas morning, knowing this fruit-filled favorite will be on the table. I make several extras for our friends' breakfasts, too.
- 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups chopped dried apricots
- 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a saucepan, heat the water, milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat until moistened. Beat in eggs until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
- 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 until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, combine the filling ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until thickened. Cool.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half into a 16x8-in. rectangle. Place on greased baking sheets.
- Spoon filling down the lengthwise center third of each rectangle. On each long side, cut 1-in.-wide strips about 2-1/2 in. into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
- For glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over warm braids. Yield: 2 loaves.
Originally published as Apricot Pineapple Braid in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2000, p45
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