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Christmas Bread

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword bread
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 3 loaves
Author Kara

Ingredients

  • For the bread:
  • 2 c. scalded milk
  • 4 eggs room temperature, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 packages yeast
  • 1/2 c. butter melted
  • 7 c. flour approx.
  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • For each loaf of braided bread filling:
  • 4 Tablespoons soft butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts optional
  • For the icing:
  • 1 c. confectioners sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • salt to taste
  • 4 to 5 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Red and green sprinkles
  • Walnut or pecan halves optional

Instructions

  1. Place milk, eggs, salt, butter, and sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Using the dough hook, mix together. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in the 1/2 cup warm water, then add to the mixer bowl. Add flour in gradually, using only enough flour so that you can handle the dough. Lighter dough makes lighter bread and rolls.
  2. Turn out onto floured surface. Cover with a greased bowl and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
  3. Divide dough into three equal portions and work with one at a time.
  4. Roll dough into a 14 x 18 in. rectangle. Cut into three strips. Spread butter down lengthwise center of each strip.
  5. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle over butter. Top with nuts if using.
  6. Bring dough up around filling, sealing edges to form three ropes.
  7. Place on baking sheet and loosely braid. (The trick for me was to remember that each rope moved to the center.)
  8. Let rise until double, about 30 minutes.
  9. Bake in moderate oven 350 to 375 degrees for 30 minutes. (Cover with foil for last few minutes if necessary to prevent over-browning.)
  10. Combine confectioner's sugar and enough milk to make a thin glaze. Drizzle over bread while still warm. Sprinkle with red and green sprinkles.
  11. You can also put walnuts on top which look pretty, but nobody in my family likes them so we go without.
  12. ENJOY!!!