Swedish Almond Braid
|Active dry yeast/1 cake compressed yeast||1⁄4 Ounce (1 Package)|
|Water||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Milk||1 Cup (16 tbs), scalded|
|Sugar||3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)|
|Softened butter||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Sifted all purpose flour||5 1⁄2 Cup (88 tbs)|
|Almond extract||3⁄4 Teaspoon|
|Egg white||1 , slightly beaten|
|Sugar||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Slivered almonds||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
Soften active dry yeast in warm water (110°) or compressed yeast in lukewarm water (85°).
Combine milk, 3/4 cup sugar, butter and salt; stir till butter is melted and sugar is dissolved; cool.
Stir in 2 cups of the flour and beat well.
Add egg yolk, softened yeast, almond extract, and enough of the remaining flour to make soft dough.
Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead till smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface.
Cover; let rise till almost double, about 2 hours.
Punch down and divide into 6 equal parts; form into balls.
Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
Roll each ball into a ropelike strip about 12 inches long.
Form into 2 braids, starting at the center and braiding toward each end.
Tuck under the ends.
Place in 2 greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 -inch loaf pans.
Cover; let rise in a warm place till almost double.
Brush tops of loaves with egg white.
Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar and the slivered almonds.
Bake in a moderate oven (350°) about 40 to 55 minutes.