Sweet Christmas Loaf
|Dry yeast||1⁄4 Ounce|
|Warm water||3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)|
|Butter/Margarine||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Sugar||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|All purpose flour||3 1⁄2 Cup (56 tbs)|
|Chopped pecans||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Chopped candied citron||2 Tablespoon|
|Ground cinnamon||1 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Powdered sugar||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Milk||1 1⁄2 Tablespoon|
|Vegetable oil||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Vanilla extract||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Almond extract||1⁄4 Teaspoon|
Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.
Combine remaining 1/2 cup water, butter, egg, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
Add yeast mixture, stirring well.
Gradually add 1 cup flour; beat at medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes.
Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and let rest 10 minutes.
Knead 8 to 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.
Cover and let rise in a warm place (85Â°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Punch dough down; turn out on a lightly floured surface.
Roll into a 10- x 14-inch rectangle, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Combine next 6 ingredients; spread filling down the center of the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch margin at each end.
Using kitchen shears make 3-inch diagonal cuts 1 inch apart on each long side of rectangle.
Starting at one end, bring corresponding dough strips to center at an angle; overlap opposite sides.
Fold next set of dough strips so that they cover the overlap of first folded strips.
Repeat with remaining strips, alternating top strip to resemble braiding.
Fold end of rectangle up and tuck under.
(One end will be left open with filling showing.) Cover and let rise in a warm place (85Â°), free from drafts, for 1 hour or until doubled.
Combine egg white and 1 tablespoon water; brush over loaf.
Bake at 375Â° for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from baking sheet, and place on wire rack to cool.
Combine powdered sugar, milk, oil, and flavorings; drizzle over bread while bread is warm.
Garnish with candied cherries and almonds.