Martha Washington's Fan Recipe
Easter morning would not be the same at our house without this bread. The impressive loaves also make nice Christmas gifts.Susan Peck, Springfield, Missouri
- 6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 1-1/4 cups warm water (120° to 130°)
- 3 eggs
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
- 1-1/2 cups flaked coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, dry milk, yeast and salt. Add butter and water; beat on low for 2 minutes. Add eggs; beat on high for 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Roll one portion into a 20-in. x 6-in. rectangle, with a short side facing you. Brush top two-thirds of dough with 1 tablespoon melted butter. In a bowl, combine the coconut, pecans and brown sugar; blend in 3 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle a third of the mixture over buttered portion of dough. STarting at the plain short side, fold dough over half of filling; fold over again. Pinch edges and end to seal.
- Place on a greased baking sheet with folded edge facing away from you. With scissors, cut into eight strips to within 1 in. from folded edge. Separate strips slightly; twist to allow filling to show. Pinch ends into points. Repeat with remaining dough and filling to make two more fans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Combine icing ingredients; drizzle over fans. Yield: 3 loaves.
Originally published as Martha Washington's Fan in Country Woman March/April 1998, p31
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