Fruited Coffee Braid
|Hard butter/Margarine||1 1⁄4 Cup (20 tbs)|
|Dry yeast||2 Tablespoon|
|Lukewarm water||3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)|
|All purpose flour||4 1⁄2 Cup (72 tbs)|
|White sugar||1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)|
|Chopped nuts||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Raisins||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Chopped candied peel||3 Tablespoon|
|Confectioner's sugar||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
Measure and chill butter in the freezer until very hard.
Sprinkle yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar into the lukewarm water, and let stand until dissolved, about 10 minutes.
Add eggs, and set aside.
Sift flour, salt and 1/3 cup sugar into a large bowl.
Hold butter with a small piece of waxed paper, and shred on a medium-to-coarse grater into the flour mixture.
Or cut butter into pieces; then cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until butter is about the size of peas.
Stir lightly with a fork to distribute the butter bits evenly.
Then stir in the nuts and fruits.
Pour in yeast-egg mixture.
Stir with a fork; then knead quickly until all particles stick together and dough cleans the sides of the bowl.
Press out into a flat oblong on waxed paper, and chill until evenly firm.
Cut dough in half, and roll each piece out into a 12" x 3" rectangle.
Cut each rectangle lengthwise into 3 strips 1 inch wide.
Roll strips lightly back and forth to smooth edges; then braid each group of 3 strips together.
Place on lightly greased baking sheets.
Tuck ends under neatly, and cover.
Let rise in a warm place until light and puffy, about 1 1/2-2 hours.
Bake at 350°F.
Cool slightly, and drizzle with confectioners' icing if you wish.