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Scandinavian Yule Braids

Contributed by :Admin
Recipe Rating   :Unrated
Prep Time         :Not Specified
Cals/Serving    :279


7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (7 1/2 to 8 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 packages Fleischmann's? Active Dry Yeast -- * see note
1 1/3 cups milk
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 8-ounce pack e chopped or pitted dates -- snipped
1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds
1/4 cup chopped candied cherries
1/4 cup chopped candied citron
Confectioners' sugar frosting -- optional


In large bowl, thoroughly mix 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and undissolved yeast.

In saucepan, heat milk, water, butter and almond extract over low heat until liquids are very warm (125? to 130?F.). Butter does not need to melt. Gradually add to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour; beat at high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour to make soft dough.

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Knead in dates, almonds, cherries and citron. Divide dough in half. Divide each half into three equal pieces. Roll each piece to 18-inch rope. Braid three ropes together. Pinch ends to seal. Place on greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ropes. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Bake at 375?F. for 25 to 30 minutes, or until done. Remove from sheets and cool on wire racks. Decorate with confectioners' sugar frosting, if desired.

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