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Monday, August 2, 2010

Apple Coffee Braid

Yeast bread dough after proving for 40 minutesImage via Wikipedia

This is one of my favorite yeast bread recipes. I learned to love refrigerator dough. You can make it at one time, let it rise in refrigerator until later when you have more time, taking portions out to work with as you have rising time and space, and do the rest later. It's really pretty when done (the egg and milk wash at the end gives it a great golden color. After baking (and cooling) I would often wrap these well and freeze for use later. It's a very good do-ahead recipe and is good served warmed with butter and/or apple butter. Once you get the braiding down, it's pretty easy. Three loaves out of one batch, that's not bad either.


Apple Coffee Braid

Preparation time: 1 hr.                     Baking time: 20 to 25 min.
Chilling time: 4 hrs. to 4 days         Oven Temperature: 375  F
Rising time: 1 to 1 1/2 hrs.

An easy-to-handle refrigerator yeast dough is the basis for this bread. Strips of dough are filled with applesauce, sealed, then braided, resulting in a super-moist and tasty baked coffee bread.

For 3 braids you will need:
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105  F to 115  F)
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. salt
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups applesauce
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
3 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 t. nutmeg

Tips: You can remove only 1 portion of the dough at a time from the refrigerator and leave the remainder for shaping and baking another day. Or, you may shape the braids and refrigerate again for next day baking.

Preparation:

1 - In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add butter, sugar, eggs and salt, beating well.
2 - Stir in the flour and knead until a smooth, satiny dough is formed.
3 - Cover and refrigerate 4 hrs. or as long as 4 days.
4 - Cut dough into thirds. Roll each portion out to form a 10-by-12-inch sheet.
5 - Divide sheet of dough lengthwise into 3 equal strips (each will be about 3 inches wide).
6 - Spoon about 2 Tbsp. applesauce down the length of each strip. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Fold dough over filling to seal in applesauce.
7 - Braid 3 strips together to make 1 loaf. Repeat for remaining 2 portions of dough.
8 - Place on greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs. or until puffy and almost doubled.
9 - Mix egg and milk. Brush mixture over loaves.
10 - Bake at 375  F for 20 to 25 min. or until golden.


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