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Holiday Braid Recipe
Holiday Braid Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Holiday Braid Recipe

Publisher Photo
My family devours this lovely, special yeast bread during the holidays. The braid gives it such a festive look. I make it year-round, eliminating the candied cherries and serving it as a breakfast bread. -Brenda Mowrey, Taylors, South Carolina
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling
MAKES: 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup chopped red and green candied cherries
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • GLAZE:
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Additional candied cherries, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 slice) equals 258 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 44 mg cholesterol, 223 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in milk. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, lemon peel and cardamom. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add yeast mixture and whole egg; mix well. Stir in cherries, raisins and pecans.
  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 for 1 hour (dough will not double in size).
  3. Punch dough down; divide into four pieces. Roll three pieces into 15-in. ropes. Braid ropes; place on a greased baking sheet. Divide last portion of dough in half; roll each into a 15-in. rope. Twist ropes. Press an indentation down the center of braided loaf; place twisted dough in indentation. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  4. Beat egg yolk and water; brush over loaf. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Cover loosely with foil; bake 20-25 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack. Combine sugar and milk; drizzle over loaf. Decorate with cherries if desired. Yield: 1 loaf.
Originally published as Holiday Braid in Taste of Home December/January 1996, p39

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 slice) equals 258 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 44 mg cholesterol, 223 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.

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