Sunday, December 5, 2010

Laura Beth Requested This Recipe

And since she did, I'll just put it here 
so others can have it if they want it.  
And a few pictures of the party follow this recipe.

Christmas Bread
2 packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1 cup milk, scalded
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 - 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 to 5 - 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 eggs
Soften yeast in the water.  Combine scalded milk, sugar, shortening, and salt;  cool to lukewarm.
Stir in 2 cups of the flour;  beat vigorously. Add eggs; beat well.
Stir in the softened yeast and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Turn dough out on well-floured surface. Knead till smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Place dough in lightly greased bowl; turning once to grease the surface.  Cover; let rise in a warm place till doubled, about 2 hours. Punch down. Divide dough in half;
cover and let rest 10 minutes. Divide each half in 4 parts. Roll 3 parts of dough in 20-inch strands; braid. Carefully place braid around greased 6-ounce juice can on greased baking sheet.  Seal ends together to form continuous braid.   Divide remaining piece of dough in half.  Shape in  2 20-inch strands and twist together.  Place on top of braid.
Repeat with remaining half of dough. Let rise in warm place till doubled, about 1 hour. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or till golden.  Remove juice can;  while wreaths are still warm, brush with confectioners‘ sugar glaze:  Add enough milk or cream to 2 cups sifted confectioners‘ sugar to make of spreading consistency.  Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and dash of salt; mix well.  Decorate tops with walnut halves, and red and green candied cherries.  Makes 2 coffeecakes.
Other option - to make 4 braided loaves out of recipe.
Divide entire recipe of dough into 4 parts.
Each 1/4 divide into 3 parts and braid.
tuck ends under to create rounded ends.
Bake and decorate the same as the wreaths. 
Magazine note suggests baking the bread the day before.  Then heat, frost, and decorate it right before serving. 

Our party was fun - here are a few pictures of us all together.

Melissa, my cousin, with Mary, my aunt, her mom,
looking at old Christmas pictures  I'd found and set out for them all to look at.
They all could see either themselves or someone familiar in the stack.

Mary Ann, my sister, on the right, talking with Jenny, a second cousin.
Jenny alway tells the story of when she was a little girl and Daddy was 
the "new band director in town" and she had such a little girl crush on him.
She would always tease Mother and say how mad she was 
when Mother married Daddy.

Nell, in the red, is the one who was so kind to host Sarah with her artwork
a few weeks ago, in Nell's bank lobby.

(an aside: Nell had several of us over at her house Saturday afternoon to watch the Auburn/South Carolina SEC Championship game.  Wow! What a game.  Can I join all the other fans and say WAR EAGLE!)

Connie in the blue, talking with Susan.  I call Susan my cousin.  She is actually married to my cousin, Bert, but good grief!  Doesn't that make her my cousin?  I love her and she is the sweetest and dearest and I can't remember when she wasn't in the family.

Connie was my neighbor on Williams St and has recently moved back to Evergreen.
I guess I've known Connie since I was in the 4th or 5th grade, 
when they moved next door to us.

We had a great time - everyone talking at the same time - as you can imagine when women get in the same room.  What can I say?

I've had my "hometown" Christmas and I'm feeling a bit homesick for my Scottsboro home.  I'll be traveling back to North Alabama right after church today.
I haven't been in my very familiar Evergreen Methodist Church in a while,
so I chose to do that this Christmas season - just to cap off this weekend.

No comments: