This is a nice spring loaf for Easter or other holidays from "Fleischmann's Best-ever Breads." I shared a loaf with Myrna’s family – and made our loaf into French toast – delicious! I had some coarse sugar that I use for Dutch Puff Pillows – so I used that on top. I think this would also be good with a thin powdered sugar glaze. The recipe suggests that you can also replace the lemon peel and nutmeg with 2 tsp. ground cardamom, and/or knead in 2 cups chopped toasted nuts or chopped dried or candied fruit or a combination for a nice variation. There are 2 choices of braiding directions; you can also braid each loaf into a round for another attractive variation. This is a recipe you can make your own.
Spring Holiday Braid
6 1/2 Cups Flour, All-purpose
1/2 Cup Sugar
4 Teaspoons Instant Yeast
1 Tablespoon Grated Lemon Peel
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
3/4 Cup Whole Milk
1/2 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Butter -- softened
3 Large Eggs
1 Large Egg White -- lightly beaten
In mixer bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, yeast, lemon peel, butter, salt and nutmeg.
Heat milk and water until very warm (120° to 130°); using paddle attachment, stir into dry ingredients. Stir in 3 eggs and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Change to dough hook and knead 6 minutes. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
- Divide dough in half; set aside half. Divide 1 half into 4 equal pieces; roll 3 pieces into 14" ropes. Place on greased baking sheet and braid. Pinch ends firmly to seal.
- Divide remaining dough into 3 equal pieces; roll each piece into a 9" rope. Braid. Place the small braid on the large braid; pinch ends to seal and to secure to the large braid.
- Repeat with remaining dough to make 2 finished braids.
- Or divide into 6 equal pieces; braid 3 together for each loaf.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 25-30 minutes.
Brush braids with egg white. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes or until done; if needed, cover with foil during last 10 minutes.