A festive, traditional German holiday bread with raisins and nuts.
INGREDIENTS (for 2 servings):
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 (.25 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 5 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- 1 egg, beaten
In a small saucepan, heat milk until hot, but not boiling; mix in 1/2 cup sugar, salt, lemon zest, and butter. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. In a small bowl, mix together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/4 cup water; stir into milk. Beat in 2 eggs and egg yolks. Mix in 3 cups flour. Cover, and let rise in a warm place.
Mix in the raisins and nuts. Gradually mix in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover, and set aside to rise.
Divide dough into 3 balls. Roll each ball out into a thick log, braid, and tuck the ends under. Place on a large cookie sheet, and set aside to rise one more time.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Brush beaten egg over the dough. It gives a shine to it.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
It does give a large cake. I make 2 of them and bake it in a big cookie tin. Most people put frosting on top, but I dont. I just love it. There is not much sugar in it. It really does require a little work, because you have to leave it rise three times. I really always put 1 cup raisins in it. Also take 2 cups milk. Then just add a little more flour. As long as you go through the work, might as well make a little more.