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Raisin Bread Braids

Raisin Bread Braids
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Yield: Makes 6 small loaves.

This is very similar to Polish babka, Jewish challah, and German stollen. They're all sweet holiday breads. The braids are made loosely, and the ends are tucked under. Just before baking, a beaten egg is brushed over the loaves to make the crust shine. Loaves can be made as large as you like. For a special holiday bread, make one large braid.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 12 to 14 cups unbleached flour (approximately)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 4 ounces butter, melted
  • 4 ounces margarine, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 egg, beaten

Instructions:

Scald milk and water, and add salt and sugar. Add yeast to liquid when it is slightly cooled (98 -105 degrees F). Add about 1 pound of the flour along with lemon peel, melted butter and margarine, 2 eggs, and raisins; work remaining flour in until the mixture is no longer sticky. Place in an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled. Punch down. On a floured board, divide the dough into 6 sections. Divide each section into thirds, roll each piece into a cylinder, and braid the pieces, tucking the ends under. Let rise again until doubled, brush with beaten egg, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Updated Thursday, December 6th, 2007

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