My beautiful Christmas bread is a soft & slightly sweet egg bread filled with golden raisins. Make it without the frosting and sprinkles and you can toast it. Use pastel sprinkles and it's Easter bread. Have all your ingredients at room temperature. - Jenny Jones
- 2 1/4 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast (one packet/7 grams)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk, warmed to 120-130° F (I use 1% or 2% low fat milk)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg (can add an extra egg yolk for a richer bread)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 heaping cup raisins (I use gold and red raisins)
- additional 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour
- Egg wash: 1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon water
- 1 cup powdered sugar + about 2 tablespoons milk
- Sprinkles of your choice
- Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Add warm milk, oil, egg & vanilla.
- With electric mixer, beat on high for two minutes.
- Reduce speed, add raisins and about 1/4 to 1/2 cup more flour until the dough forms a mass.
- Knead on a floured surface for 100 turns (about 2 minutes).
- Cover dough with plastic and let it rest 10 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide dough into three and roll each piece into a 20-inch long rope. Braid the ropes as you would braid hair and shape the braid into a circle, pinching & tucking the ends together.
- Place on the baking sheet, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size – 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- After 30 minutes, preheat oven to 350° F.
- When loaf has doubled in size, gently brush with egg wash.
- Bake for about 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, cover with a foil tent to prevent over-browning. Internal temperature should be at least 190° F when baked.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and add glaze, followed immediately with sprinkles.
Note: To see it shaped into a regular loaf click here.