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Cardamom Holiday Bread

I have fond memories of coming home from school to find this bread cooling on a wire rack. I could hardly wait for a warm savory slice.—Sheryl Olstad, Rochester, New Hampshire
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    3 loaves (16 slices each)

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7-1/2 to 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons 2% milk
  • Halved candied cherries
  • Toasted sliced almonds

Directions

  • Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, eggs, sugar, butter, cardamom, salt and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
  • Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 9 portions. Roll each into a 12-in. rope. Place ropes on greased baking sheets. Working with 3 at a time, braid ropes. Pinch ends to seal; tuck under.
  • Cover with kitchen towels; let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake until golden, 20-25 minutes. Cool. Meanwhile, make a glaze by mixing confectioners' sugar and enough milk to reach desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over loaves; decorate as desired with cherries and almonds.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 141 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 23mg cholesterol, 79mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.
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