Bohemian Braid

 

This recipe makes a fancy coffee cake that is good for special occasions.

 

 

2
packages active dry yeast
1/2
cup lukewarm milk
1/2
cup sugar
1
teaspoon salt
2
eggs
1/2
cup shortening or butter
4 1/2
cups flour
1
teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/8
teaspoon mace
1/2
cup raisins
1/2
cup chopped blanched almonds

 

 

Soak yeast in water for 5 minutes.  Add milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour.  Beat until smooth.  Gradually add additional flour to make soft, almost sticky dough.  Knead for 10 minutes.  Place in greased bowl and let rise until double.  Punch down and let rise again until almost double. 

 

After the second rising, knead in additional ingredients.  Divide dough into 4 equal parts.  Shape 3 of the parts into strands 14 inches long.  Place them about 1 inch apart on lightly greased baking sheet.  Braid loosely, beginning at the middle and working toward with end.  Seal ends well.

 

Divide remaining portion of dough into 3 equal parts and shape into 3 strands each 12 inches long.  Make another braid as before and place second braid on top of the large braid, pinching ends of small braid into large braid.

 

Cover and let rise until double in bulk, 45 to 60 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.  Ice while warm.  Can decorate with candies cherries and pecan halves.

 

Icing

 

1
cup powdered sugar
1 to 2
tablespoons warm water, milk or cream
1/2
teaspoon vanilla or lemon juice (use a bit of grated lemon rind with
the lemon)

 

 

Mix together all ingredients.  Spread or drizzle over bread while slightly warm.