Russian Holiday Bread
I modified a recipe I found in a cookbook to create this yeast bread chock-full of raisins and candied fruit. The cardamom gives it marvelous aroma and a delectable flavor. I give loaves of this bread out as gifts during the holidays, and the recipients are always pleased to receive it.—Loraine Meyer, Bend, Oregon
Total TimePrep: 40 min. + rising Bake: 40 min. + cooling
Makes2 loaves (12 slices each)
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup 2% milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds
- 1/4 cup each chopped candied citron, orange peel and red cherries
- 1/4 cup raisins
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the eggs, milk, sugar, butter, salt, lemon zest, cardamom and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Beat in the almonds, citron, orange peel, cherries and raisins. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Shape into two loaves. Place in two greased 8x4-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.