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Sweet Braided Loaves

“This recipe was handed down from my grandmother. I make it for my family every year for Easter morning.” —Diane Turner, Brunswick, Ohio
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. + rising Bake: 25 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 loaves (12 slices each)

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • GARNISH:
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Directions

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, butter, eggs, salt and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Stir in raisins.
  • 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. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough into six portions. Shape each into a 12-in. rope. Place three ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Repeat with remaining ropes. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • Brush with egg; sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 194 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated fat), 46mg cholesterol, 93mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 fat.
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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • shawnba
    Mar 30, 2018

    I have made this several times since I found the recipe. It has become my go to yeast bread for just about everything. I do use half bread flour, and half AP flour, but otherwise no adjustments. Happy baking!!3/29/18 response to CamillaB: bread flour creates a sturdier structure than AP flour. It’s a little more dense and slightly more chewy than what you get when you use all AP flour. I also think that the tighter structure helps it hold its moisture longer. I find that mixing the flours gives me the best of both worlds. A roll that is tender and holds it’s moisture

  • CamilaB
    Mar 9, 2016

    I've made this bread twice. The first time exactly as described (not the almonds/raisins, just plain bread), and I found it lacking flavor (sugar and salt), it was not exceptional at all. However, it is a great, amazing texture. Today I decided to try it again with some changes: used SALTED butter, 3/4 cup sugar, and a "very good" 1/2 tsp salt (regular salt). Then I had the best bread. Now it is 5 stars! I get three big braided breads, Both times I brushed sugar/cinnamon water on top of them. Baking time is accurate. Another good suggestion, if you want to try: use the water and/or milk with a hint of cinnamon (stick or powder, I boiled water with cinnamon stick and let it cool down to reach the right temperature to dissolve yeast). I have seen recipes suggesting cardamom, but I have not tested this flavor yet, I find it too intense. If someone tested with it, I would love to hear from you!I would like to know from user Shawnba: I felt very tempted today to use 1/2 & 1/2 AP and Bread flour, but would like to know from you first - what difference did you see in the texture? I appreciate your attention! Thank you!

  • ashandjan
    Aug 29, 2013

    No comment left

  • seasons4
    Dec 28, 2012

    No comment left

  • royalviking
    Mar 8, 2011

    Every 3 weeks, I make something for the "Muffins and More" snack program at our oldest daughter's school. I decided this would be a fun recipe to try, but nuts are not allowed for allergy reasons. Instead, I added a bit of cinnamon to the dough and then sprinkled a liberal coating of cinnamon-sugar on after the egg wash. It was fantastic! This is a versatile recipe to suit tastes and I look forward to making it as written for just our family. Fruit would be a nice addition to this as well for another idea. Such a pretty and tasty treat that is impressive to look at and taste.

  • norwichcity
    Jan 20, 2011

    oh so good, added more almonds to top,love it

  • mjmolinari
    May 14, 2010

    I left out the raisins, added some anise oil. the family all loved it!

  • bettyric1993
    Apr 28, 2009

    No comment left

  • binitha
    Mar 20, 2009

    No comment left

  • rougeux
    Feb 19, 2009

    This lovely loaf was a hit with my family. It is slightly sweet and oh so tender!