“This recipe was handed down from my grandmother to my mother; my mother had told me stories that her mother made Sweet Braided Loaves during the winter months into early spring, because of cost efficiency and the loaves would last for days on. The Sweet Braided Loaves would be served with soups and stews. Back in the 50’s and 60’s living in “alphabet city”, known in Manhattan, NY that Sweet Braided Loaves were the common bread served with any dish. Throughout the years I made it for my son during the Easter Holiday changing the recipe from time to time.”
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1 PACKAGE ACTIVE DRY YEAST
1/4 CUP WARM WATER
1 CUP WARM 2% MILK
1/2 CUP SUGAR
1/2 CUP BUTTER, SOFTENED
3 EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE
1/2 TEASPOON SALT
5 1/2 CUPS ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
1 CUP GOLDEN RAISINS
Garnish: 2 Tablespoon sliced Almonds, 1 egg, lightly beaten
Let’s make this happen…
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, butter, eggs, salt and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form soft an dough. Stir in raisins.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough into six portions. Shape each into a 12-in. rope. Place three ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Repeat with remaining ropes. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Brush with egg; sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
- Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).