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Fruited Coffee Braid

chef.pierre's picture
  Hard butter/Margarine 1 1⁄4 Cup (20 tbs)
  Dry yeast 2 Tablespoon
  Sugar 2 Teaspoon
  Lukewarm water 3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)
  Eggs 2
  All purpose flour 4 1⁄2 Cup (72 tbs)
  Salt 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  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.
30-40 minutes.
Cool slightly, and drizzle with confectioners' icing if you wish.

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