This is a very old recipe I found in my great-aunt's handwritten cookbook after she passed away. I love it with apple butter or orange butter, made by mixing orange marmalade and butter. —Sandi Pichon, Slidell, Louisiana
- 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 teaspoons butter, melted
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons orange marmalade
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the eggs, sugar, oil, salt, lemon peel and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface. Sprinkle with raisins; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough into thirds. Shape each into a 20-in. rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Bake at 350° for 24-28 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. In a small bowl, combine softened butter and marmalade; serve with bread. Yield: 1 loaf (32 slices).
Originally published as Easter Bread with Orange Butter in Country Extra May 2010, p51
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