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Martha Washington’s Fan

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    3 loaves (10 slices each)


  • 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 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • ICING:
  • 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 20x6-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.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 250 calories, 12g fat (6g saturated fat), 39mg cholesterol, 186mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.
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  • Ceege
    Sep 29, 2014

    Need better instructions before I can try this recipe. Looks and sounds yummy.