Cranberry-Walnut Braid

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Wow your family and friends by presenting this beautiful braided loaf at your next meal. Here's the secret - it's all in the presentation! It's actually a simple yeast dough, studded with plump cranberries and toasted walnuts, that you simply braid and bake.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Hodgson Mill Best for Bread Flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp Hodgson Mill Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temp
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp orange extract
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1/3 cup water, warm (90-115F)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped & toasted
  • 1 egg, beaten, for egg wash

Directions

Combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt in bread machine pan. (You may also use a mixer with a dough hook or use a large bowl if mixing by hand.)  Add buttermilk, two eggs, melted butter, orange extract, orange juice and orange zest. Begin kneading dough and add enough hot water to create a soft, smooth dough that is slightly tacky. Continue the dough cycle on the bread machine or cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 90 minutes, until doubled.

Turn  dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead in walnuts and cranberries, then divide into four equal pieces. Set one piece of the dough aside. Roll three pieces of dough into 13-inch long ropes. Braid these three ropes together. Tuck under the ends and transfer the braid to a large baking sheet covered with parchment or lightly greased.

Separate the remaining quarter of dough into three equal pieces, and roll each into a 10-inch long rope. Braid these smaller three ropes together. Brush the first, larger braid with egg wash; place the second, smaller braid on top of larger braid and brush with more egg wash..Let dough rise uncovered in a warm area until almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 325º F oven for 40-50 minutes or until the loaf is a deep, golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer the bread to a rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.



Makes 1 large braided loaf Print this Recipe

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