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Christmas Bread

By December 21, 2011May 21st, 2021No Comments

Cranberries & Canada Geese CookbookThis bread is a Christmas tradition in the Woolsey house. Every year I wonder why we don’t eat it all year long. This is very good for gift-giving! — Marie


  • 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. ground cardamom OR anise
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup candied peel
  • 1/2 cup candied cherries, halved
  • 6 cups flour (approx..)
  • 2 tbsp. instant yeast
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp. water



1. In a large mixing bowl, combine water, sugar, salt, oil, egg, cardamom, raisins, peel and cherries. Add 3 cups of flour and the yeast. Beat well.
2. Switch to a dough hook, if you have one, and gradually add the remaining 3 cups of flour. Knead until dough isn’t too sticky to handle. If kneading by hand, add as much flour as you can in the bowl, then turn out onto a floured surface and work in the rest of the flour by hand, using a kneading motion. It may take a little more or a little less flour. Just knead it until the dough feels soft but not sticky and bounces back when pressed, 8-10 minutes.
3. Shape dough into a ball and place it in a large, well-greased bowl, turning dough to grease surface. Cover the dough with a cloth and put it in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
4. Punch down dough and cut it into 3 or 4 pieces. Form each piece into a round loaf. Place the loaves on greased cookie sheets, 2 loaves to a sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
5. Brush with egg white and water. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
6. Remove baked loaves from baking sheets and let cool on a rack.

Makes 3 large or 4 small, round loaves.

TIP: Cardamom is a unique an wonderful spice with a warm, sweet, spicy flavor. Anise gives a mild flavor or black licorice. I can’t decide which I like better. Don’t be afraid to add a little extra spice for a more pronounced flavor.

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