Sweet Almond Braid| Christy Rost
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup water
- 5 ½ to 6 cups bread flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 recipe decorative glaze
In a medium saucepan, heat milk, butter, and water over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges. Remove from heat and set aside until lukewarm.
Combine 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Pour in the milk mixture and beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Add eggs and almond extract, and beat well.
Stir in raisins and enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn it out onto a floured counter and knead until smooth. Divide the dough in half. Slice each half into 3 pieces and roll the first 3 into 12-inch ropes with your hands. Braid the ropes to form a long loaf, tuck the ends under, and transfer to a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining bread dough. Cover loaves with a towel and set aside in a warm place to rise.
When the breads have almost doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaves 18 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden. Remove the breads from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. When cool, drizzle with Decorative Glaze and garnish with pastel sprinkles. Serve when the glaze has dried, or wrap and freeze up to several weeks.
- 1 ½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla until the glaze is smooth and thick.
Yield: 2 loaves