Do you make something special for breakfast on Christmas morning? French toast and homemade cinnamon rolls have appeared at my house a few times over the years, but this year I thought it would be nice to do a bit of holiday baking and wake up to a Holiday Eggnog Braid on Christmas morning. I gave this recipe a trial run this afternoon and am very pleased with how it turned out. I love a good sweet bread, and the eggnog lends wonderful sweetness and flavor to this bread.
I was rummaging through a box of old magazine clippings the other day, when I came across this recipe torn from a 1994 magazine. I can’t figure out which publication it came from, but it has the look of a Southern Living recipe.
Flavors of the Season
Be prepared to stick around for a while to make this bread. While it’s not difficult, you do have to wait around a couple of times for the dough to rise. Trust me… this one is well worth the effort that you’ll put into it. Your friends and family will be “wowed” when you serve this at your holiday party or on Christmas morning.
Here’s What You’ll Need
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup canned or diary eggnog
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped, mixed candied fruits and peels
1/2 cup gold raisins
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons canned or dairy eggnog
Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, and nutmeg in a large bowl; set aside. In a saucepan heat and stir the 1 cup eggnog, water, margarine, granulated sugar, and salt just till warm (120 to 130 degrees) and margarine is almost melted. Add to flour mixture. Add egg. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in fruits and peels, raisins, and as much of the remaining flour as you can.
Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). The paddle attachment on my Kitchenaid worked perfect for this. Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover, let rise in a warm place till doubles (about 1 1/2 hours).
Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into three equal pieces. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Roll each piece of dough into an evenly thick 10-inch rope.
To make braid, line up the three ropes, 1 inch apart, on a large greased baking sheet. Starting in the middle, loosely braid toward each end. Press ends together to seal; tuck ends under. Cover and let rise till nearly double (about 456 to 60 minutes). Bake in a 350 degree oven 10 minutes. Cover loosely with foil and bak 15 to 20 minutes more or till bread tests done. Cool.
Combine powdered sugar with enough eggnog to make a glaze of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over loaf. Garnish the top with additional candied fruit, if desired. Makes 1 braid.
Note: If any of the fruit falls out while you’re shaping the ropes for the braid, just press the pieces back into the dough.
Happy Holidays! Do you have any holiday baking planned?