Instead of wrapping up presents to give at Christmas, I customarily knead them. This citrusy cinnamon bread is a hit with anyone who has a sweet tooth. You can also make a loaf that's terrific for toasting by eliminating the glaze.
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 egg
- 6-1/2 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
- Additional water
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a saucepan, heat milk and orange juice to 110°, add to yeast mixture. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, orange peel, salt, egg and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form 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 in half. Roll each portion into a 15-in. x 7-in. rectangle. Brush with water. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle over dough to within 1 in. of edge.
- Tightly roll up, jelly-roll style, starting with a short side; seal ends. Place seam side down into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to cool on a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over bread. Yield: 2 loaves.
Originally published as Orange Cinnamon Bread in Country Woman Christmas Annual 1998, p18
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