Prep 3 hrs
Cook 30 mins
A braided loaf, this is one of the more delicious breads I've made. It's a Bernard Clayton recipe, modified with 50% whole wheat flour. Excellent for breakfast. I don't ice the loaf.
- 1 1⁄2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached)
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour (if needed)
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
- 1 1⁄4 cups water (120 F)
- 1⁄4 cup shortening (room temperature)
- 1⁄2 cup raisins
- 1⁄2 cup walnuts (chopped)
- 1⁄2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- candied cherry, halved
- In large mixing bowl or mixer bowl, add the whole wheat flour and the non-flour dry ingredients.
- Pour in the hot water and add the shortening.
- Beat with a wooden spoon 150 strokes or with the mixer flat blade for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the fruit and nuts.
- Add the flour slowly, mixing with a wooden spoon and then by hand until a rough, soft mass is formed. If using a mixer, use dough hook and add flour until dough forms a soft ball around the hook and moves with it.
- Knead for 10 minutes, adding flour if too wet and a little water if too dry.
- Place dough in a clean, oiled bowl and let it rise until doubled in volume. Another test is when a finger poked into it leaves a dent that remains.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and gently roll into 3 strands, 20 inches long. If the dough resists stretching, cover and wait 10 minutes until the dough relaxes. The strands should be tapered at the ends.
- Braid the strands loosely and seal the ends, tucking them under.
- Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in volume at room temperature. I place the loaf in the fridge overnight and the next day I let it warm and rise for about and hour and a half.
- Heat oven to 375F about 20 minutes before baking.
- Bake on a baking stone or baking sheet for about 30 minutes or until 200F internal temperature and remove and cool on a wire rack.
- Mix the topping ingredients and spread or drizzle on the loaf while the loaf is still slightly warm.