#Comfort Cooking

Holiday Almond Braided Bread

December 13, 2017

Many years ago a friend showed up at my doorstep with a warm loaf of this amazing bread.  After the first bite, I'm sure I actually groaned because it was so decadent and divine!  I knew I needed a how-to lesson and our family has been making it every Christmas holiday.  The great thing is it makes 6 loaves, and let me tell you it's not enough.  We have a hard time sharing and yet this is the season for giving.  Psst . . . You can make it anytime of the year.

This image is from Rhodes bread.  I'm all for using shortcuts with frozen dough - my honey roll recipe is a staple at all family dinners.  The bread dough recipe below is so easy, though, you can be real about making it.

Ready?

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Bread dough:

2 cubes butter
1 C sugar
2 C warm milk

Mix butter and sugar in bowl and pour milk over it.  Let stand while making yeast mixture. 

2 pkg yeast (2 TB) dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water & 1 TB sugar.  (Let stand 5 minutes.)
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp salt
6 C flour + (add enough to handle, yet it will be sticky)

Add yeast and eggs.  Mix.  Add salt and flour.

General instructions:  filling ingredients are listed below

Beat with wooden spoon (because it's strong) - no kneading.  Cover with cloth and let raise for 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down and let raise 45 minutes.  Separate into 6 balls.  Roll out on a floured surface to a rectangle shape about 12" long each.  (Yes, I get my ruler out and it is helpful later in braiding when the rectangle is even on the sides.) 

Spread and layer the fillings out on each rolled dough in the order listed - Creme, Almond, Nut.


Cut and cross over for a braid, alternating each side and placing over the filling, slightly overlapping the ends.  Stretch the dough if necessary.  When you reach the end, fold up the end and pinch the edges to seal.  Some of my loaves are braided better than others.  No worries.  I never get complaints.


3 loaves fit nicely across a large cookie sheet.

Let raise 30 minutes.  Brush lightly with beaten egg white and sprinkle with some of the reserved nut mixture.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.  You can put a glaze on it, but it's not necessary.

This bread should really be called a Danish because the beautiful raised loaves in the oven sink down when cooled.  ENJOY!  Your friends will love it.

CREME FILLING:

1 C milk
1 egg yolk - SAVE the egg white for brushing the tops
1/3 C sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 TB flour
1 tsp vanilla

Combine first 5 ingredients and heat in microwave (about 3 minutes - watching carefully and stirring until smooth and creamy), then add the vanilla.  Let cool, spoon onto the dough.

ALMOND FILLING:

1/2 C butter
2 tsp almond extract
1 C sugar

Combine and put on top of creme filling.

NUT MIXTURE:

1/2 C butter
1 C flour
1 C sugar
! C chopped nuts

Mix all together.  Put some on top of fillings (save some for the the top of bread).  Brush with lightly beaten egg whites on top of the bread.  Sprinkle with nut mixture.

Thanks for stopping by!  The kitchen is a great place for good company.

XO,




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