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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Christmas Bread

1/4 cup warm water
1 package (1 tablespoon) active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 Cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
5 cups (approximately) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons crushed aniseed
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup pistachio nuts
1/2 cup candied lemon peel
1/4 cup candied citron
2 tablespoons grated orange zest (or 1 teaspoon orange oil)

In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Add milk, sugar,
salt, butter, and 1 cup flour. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.
Combine crushed seeds, raisins, nuts, lemon peel, citron and orange
zest or oil; mix well. Add this mixture to the yeast mixture.
Gradually add flour, a little at a time, until you have a dough
stiff enough to knead. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead,
adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat entire ball of dough
with oil. Cover with towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Shape into a ball.
Punch a large hole in the center and slip the dough over the center
post of a well-greased tube pan. Cover and let rise until almost
doubled, about 1 hour.
Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 45 minutes, or until the internal
temperature of the loaf reaches 190F. Immediately remove from pan and
cool on a rack to prevent crust from becoming soggy.

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