Christmas Tree Bread
|All purpose flour||4 Cup (64 tbs)|
|Active dry yeast||1|
|Milk||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Shortening||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Granulated sugar||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Powdered sugar||2 Cup (32 tbs), sifted|
In large mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour with the yeast.
In saucepan heat 1 cup milk, the shortening, granulated sugar, and salt just till warm (115° to 120°), stirring constantly till shortening almost melts.
Add to dry mixture in mixing bowl; add eggs.
Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly.
Beat 3 minutes at high speed.
By hand, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in using a spoon to make a moderately stiff dough.
Place in greased bowl; turn once to grease surface.
Cover; let rise till double (about 1 hour).
Punch down; cover.
Let rest 10 minutes.
On floured surface roll to a 15xl0-inch rectangle.
Cut dough into fifteen 1-inch-wide strips.
To shape tree at left in photograph (left): Lay a 10-inch strip of dough on greased baking sheet for trunk.
For bottom branch, piece strips of dough to form a 15-inch strip.
Fold in half.
Seal ends; twist.
Place on trunk.
Repeat using 12-, 9-, and 6-inch strips.
To shape tree at center in photograph (left): Place a 10-inch strip of dough on greased baking sheet for trunk.
Starting 1 1/2 inches from base of trunk, place strips of dough 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, and 3 inches long—on edges over trunk to form branches.
To shape tree at right in photograph (left): Lay a 10-inch strip of dough flat on greased baking sheet for trunk.
Roll remaining pieces of dough to round slightly.
Loop a 12-inch strip of dough atop trunk to form bottom branch.
Repeat with 9- and 7-inch strips.
Let dough rise in warm place till double (about 1 1/4 hours).
Bake in 400°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
Mix powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough milk to make of spreading consistency.
Drizzle over trees.
Garnish with candied cherries or gumdrops, if desired.
Top each tree with a paper bow, if desired.