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Braided Mincemeat Bread

 

 

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Braided Mincemeat Bread
Gourmet Archives

5 teaspoons (two 1/4-ounce packages)
active dry yeast

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups bottled [or homemade!] mincemeat
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 1/4 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Amaretto liqueur
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
1/4 cup chopped slivered almonds
7 1/2 to 8 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl proof the yeast with 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/4 cup luke-
warm water for 5 minutes or until foamy. Stir in the mincemeat, lemon
zest, orange zest, salt, Amaretto, softened butter, eggs and almonds.
Combine the mixture well and stir in 4 cups flour. Knead the dough well
on a well/floured surface 5 to 7 minutes, incorporating as much of the remaining flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking, and form it
into a ball.
Put dough in a well/buttered bowl, turn it to coat it with the butter and let
it rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place for 60 to 70 minutes or until it is double in bulk. Punch down the dough and let it rise, covered,
in a warm place for 45 to 50 minutes or until double in bulk.
Punch dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide
the dough into 6 pieces and roll each piece into a 15/inch long rope. Braid
3 of the ropes into a 12x4-inch braided loaf, transfer the loaf carefully to
a buttered baking sheet and tuck the ends under. Make another loaf with
the remaining 3 ropes in the same manner and transfer it to the baking
sheet, tucking ends under.
Let the loaves rise in a warm place 50 to 60 minutes or until they are
almost double in bulk. Brush the loaves with the melted butter and sprinkle them with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake loaves in the middle of
a preheated 375-degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until they are golden and sound hollow when tapped. Transfer them carefully to a rack and let them cool completely.
 

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