Christmas Braid (Yeast Bread)

Deb S.


This is an bread recipe that has been passed through the generations and every person has their own version of it. My mom makes it. I make it, My daughters make it and everyone makes it differently but it's always delicious. The picture is one of mine I made last Christmas season ( I normally make many during the holiday season as they are requested) The recipe itself is not hard (few ingredients) but it required a lot of WAIT time . ENJOY!!

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A family


3 Hr


45 Min




2 pkg
dry active yeast
1 c
warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 c
luke warm milk
2/3 c
butter or margarine (softened)
2/3 c
2 tsp
6-8 c
all purpose flour (don't use all at once)


1 1/2 c
brown sugar
1/4 c
1 c
chopped walnuts (optional)
1 bottle
maraschino cherries (large)


1-2 c
confectioners sugar
1/4 c
2 tsp
of cherry juice or more or less to your liking

Directions Step-By-Step

Disolve yeast in warm water, stir in milk, sugar, butter, egg, salt and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in more flour to make dough plyable/easy to handle. Turn into greased bowl, Cover and put on top of stove to rise. Let rise 1.5 hours (until nearly double in size) Punch down, kneed again. Put back in bowl to rise another 1/2 hour or so. Turn out onto Floured area. Cut dough into halves or Thirds (I do halves) Each half gets split into thirds to roll out. Roll out each section, Spread butter, brown suger, walnuts. Roll up, place on (good insulated cookie sheet or baking sheet) don't want the bottom to burn or get too brown.) You place each of the three sections on a baking sheet and braid them together or make a design you feel confortable with. Once you have braided them make sure the ends are closed off..and bake the alotted time. When the breads come out.. Immediately brush butter on them. Brush or drizzle glaze mixture over the warm bread, when still on baking sheet, sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon, walnut mixture over the top, decorate with cherries and let cool. This recipe makes two good sized braids. Keep one for yourself and give the other away.. Everyone loves this bread as it's not sickening sweet. Tip. Take breads out when lightly brown.. Don't over cook and you will have a more soft chewy inside to the bread.
Make a mixture of the filling up while your bread dough is rising. You can also put chop up some of the cherries and put that in your filling if you like. When it is time to roll your dough you will butter it and spread this mixture before you roll up each section and make your braids.
For the Glaze I generally don't even measure.. I just mix up some confectioners sugar and milk to a smooth consistancy and add a little cherry juice to the mixture for flavor and color. Should be a pale pink color. When the bread comes out. Brush butter over the bread first then when you take the bread off the cookie sheets and put it on a plate or container of your choice you can decorate it by drizzling or brushing on the glaze, sprinkling any left over topping mix over and placing the cherries. I also drizzle more glaze after I have put on my cherries. This bread is soooo good!!

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