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Blushing Apple Braid Recipe

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Every Christmas for the past 20 years, I've been making and giving these braids as gifts to shut-ins, special friends and teachers.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 25 min. + cooling
MAKES:36 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 25 min. + cooling
MAKES: 36 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1-1/4 cups warm buttermilk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 5-3/4 to 6-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cans (21 ounces each) apple pie filling
  • 3/4 cup red-hot candies
  • GLAZE:
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 5 to 6 teaspoons water
  • Red candied cherries, optional

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the buttermilk, butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs and 2-1/2 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. 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.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Roll each into a 13-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Place on greased baking sheets. Remove apples from pie filling. Discard remaining filling or save for another use.
  4. Place a third of the apples down the center third of each rectangle. Sprinkle with a third of the red-hots. On each long side, but 1 in.-wide strips to the center to within 1/2 in. of the filling. 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 1 hour.
  5. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 2-3 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool.
  6. For glaze, combine sugar and enough water to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over breads. Decorate with candied cherries if desired. Yield: 3 loaves.
Editor's Note: Warmed buttermilk will appear curdled.
Originally published as Blushing Apple Braid in Best of Country Breads 2000, p82

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