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Delightful Holiday Bread

 Delightful Holiday Bread
The first time I made this braided bread for Christmas, everyone loved it. In fact, when my sister-in-law came for a visit the following July, she asked me to teach her to make it. —Cheri Neustifter of Sturtevant, Wisconsin
24 ServingsPrep: 40 min. + rising Bake: 30 min.

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1-3/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick® Pure Almond Extract
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 5-3/4 to 6-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • TOPPING:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 5 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds

Directions

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the eggs, sugar,
  • extract, oil, salt and 4 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in
  • enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic,
  • about 6-8 minutes. Place in a large bowl coated with cooking spray;
  • turn once to coat top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1
  • hour.

2 of 2

Delightful Holiday Bread (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • Punch dough down; turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into
  • thirds; shape each portion into a 20-in. rope. Place ropes on a
  • large baking sheet coated with cooking spray; braid. Pinch ends
  • together, forming a round loaf. Cover and let rise until doubled,
  • about 40 minutes.
  • Beat egg and water; brush over loaf. Sprinkle with sugar and almonds.
  • Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to
  • a wire rack.
  • Yield: 1 loaf (24 slices).
Nutritional Facts: 1 slice equals 147 calories, 2 g fat (trace saturated fat), 20 mg cholesterol, 154 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.