Viennese Christmas Bread

A whole wheat sweet bread with orange and vanilla flavors studded with candied cherries and dried cranberries is a welcome gift during the holidays. It makes the most amazing French toast ever.  Recipe courtesy of Marye Audet from Restless Chipotle.

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Servings 12servings
Prep Time 4hours
Cook Time 40minutes
Submitted By Marye Audet from Restless Chipotle
Rating
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Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
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Servings 12servings
Prep Time 4hours
Cook Time 40minutes
Submitted By Marye Audet from Restless Chipotle
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Ingredients
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add the rum to the dried cranberries. Cover with plastic wrap and heat in the microwave for about 40 seconds. Set aside.
  2. Add the water, ginger, and 1 teaspoon of sugar to the yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the milk, orange juice, sugar, vanilla paste, and egg to the yeast. Blend well.
  4. Add the candied cherries and cranberries.
  5. Mix 1 cup of the flour with the vital wheat gluten, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom.
  6. Beat into the yeast mixture.
  7. Add in the melted butter.
  8. With mixer running, add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough that is easy to handle. It will feel tacky but not stick to your fingers. Knead according to manufacturer's instructions for about 10 minutes or about 20 minutes by hand.
  9. Give it a final kneading by hand on a lightly floured surface -- just a minute or two to make sure it's been kneaded thoroughly.
  10. Dough should be elastic but will still be slightly tacky to the touch.
  11. Place in a greased bowl, turn to grease the top of the dough, and cover with a clean tea towel.
  12. Put in a warm place to rise for about 2¼ hours -- or until double.
  13. Punch down.
  14. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
  15. Shape into loaf or braid.
  16. To Braid the Loaf Divide dough into 9 equal strands.
  17. Roll each into a strand about 15-inches long.
  18. Start with four strands and braid them loosely -- it's easiest if you start at the center and braid to each end.
  19. Place on a greased baking sheet.
  20. With the side of your hand make a dent down the middle of the braid. This helps the next braid to stay put.
  21. Take the next three strands and braid them loosely, starting at the middle and braiding to the ends.
  22. Carefully place it on top of the first braid and press gently. Now, make another dent down the middle of the second braid.
  23. Take the remaining two strands of dough and twist them loosely around each other.
  24. Place on top of the second braid and press gently.
  25. Bring the ends of the last twist down over the ends of the loaf and tuck underneath.
  26. Second Rise Cover with a clean tea towel.
  27. Let rise in a warm place 1½ hours.
  28. Bake the Viennese Christmas Bread Preheat the oven to 350F.
  29. While the oven is preheating brush the loaf with the egg glaze.
  30. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  31. Remove to a rack to cool.
  32. Cover with a towel while cooling if you'd like a soft crust.
  33. Frosting Mix the Confectioner's sugar and cream together to make a smooth, runny frosting.
  34. Spread on the top of the bread while it is still warm.
  35. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts.
Recipe Notes

Check out the blog post for photo instructions on how to braid a loaf of bread.

Products Used in this Recipe
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