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Cranberry Holiday Braid

Budget.Gourmet's picture
  Dough 1
  Milk 3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)
  Sugar 1 Teaspoon
  Active dry yeast 1 Tablespoon (1 Package)
  Unbleached all purpose flour 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Unsalted butter 12 Tablespoon (At Room Temperature)
  Sugar 6 Tablespoon
  Eggs 2 (At Room Temperature)
  Unbleached all purpose flour 3 1⁄2 Cup (56 tbs)
  Sweet orange marmalade 12 Ounce
  Cranberries 6 Ounce, chopped (Fresh Or Frozen)
  Cinnamon stick 1
  Glaze 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Confectioner's sugar 3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs), sifted
  Orange juice 2 Tablespoon
  Vegetable oil 1 Teaspoon
  Cranberries 8 (For Decoration)

For the dough In a small saucepan, heat the milk until it measures 105°F to 115°F on a thermometer or until a few drops feel slightly warm when placed on your wrist.
Stir in 1 teaspoon of sugar, sprinkle the yeast over the milk, stir, and let it stand 8 to 10 minutes in a warm, draft-free place until the mixture has swollen and has small bubbles on the surface.
Stir in 1 cup of the flour, cover with a dry towel, and allow it to rise in a warm, draft-free place (a turned-off oven works well) until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Punch down the risen sponge and stir it into the butter-sugar mixture with a wooden spoon.
Add the eggs one at a time.
Stir in about 21/2 cups of flour and blend well.
Once the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and is too stiff to mix with a spoon, begin to knead by hand.
Turn it out onto a lightly floured board and begin adding the remaining flour by 1/2 cupfuls until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until very smooth and elastic.
Place the ball of dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn once, cover it with a dry towel, and set it in a warm place to rise until almost doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.
make the filling Combine the marmalade, cranberries, and cinnamon stick in a medium-size saucepan, cover, bring to a boil over medium heat, and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Uncover and continue boiling gently for 5 minutes more, stirring frequently.
Remove the cinnamon and set the mixture aside to cool.
Punch down the dough.
On a lightly floured board, roll it out into a rectangle approximately 10 X 14 inches and 1/4 inch thick.
Spread the filling in a thin layer down the center third lengthwise, leaving a small border at the top and bottom.
Cut the outer thirds into 7 diagonal strips approximately 1 1/2 inches wide, so that they are attached at the filling side.
Lace strips alternately over one another and tuck the ends under (see illustration).
Lightly grease a cookie sheet and transfer the braided bread to it.
Cover it with a slightly dampened towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.bake the risen bread in the middle of the preheated oven for about 35 minutes until it is a rich golden color on top and when lightly pressed with your finger, the indentation springs back up.
Transfer it to a rack to cool.
Prepare the glaze While the bread is cooling, combine the confectioners' sugar and orange juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth.
Add the vegetable oil and stir.
Brush the glaze generously over the cooled loaf and place the extra 7 or 8 cranberries evenly down the middle where the bread is braided.
Let the bread cool completely before cutting it.
It may be sliced and reheated, if desired.

Recipe Summary

Lacto Ovo Vegetarian

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Cranberry Holiday Braid Recipe