Meet the Cook: Whether at Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's, this is a good party bread. You can't beat it as a gift either...everyone I make it for really enjoys it My husband and I have a daughter, 3, and twins (a boy and girl) who are 2. -Mary Lindow, Florence, Wisconsin
- 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1-1/4 cups eggnog
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons eggnog
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dash nutmeg
- In a bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups of flour, sugar, salt, yeast and nutmeg; set aside. In a saucepan, heat eggnog and butter to 120°-130° (the butter does not need to melt); add to flour mixture. Beat on low until moistened; beat on medium for 3 minutes.
- Stir in cranberries and enough remaining flour to make a soft 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.
- Punch dough down; divide into thirds. Shape each third into a 16-in. rope. Braid ropes on a greased baking sheet; seal ends. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Immediately remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine the first three glaze ingredients; drizzle over braid. Dust with nutmeg. Yield: 1 loaf.
Originally published as Cranberry Eggnog Braid in Country Woman November/December 1996, p29
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