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Finnish Easter Bread

A wonderful "old world" bread, rich enough to serve as dessert. To serve as dessert, spoon Cream Cheese Topping over slices of warm or cold bread.

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This recipe makes 1 loaf
Ingredients
Bread Flour2+1/2 to 3 cups
Active Dry Yeast4+1/2 tsp
Sugar2 TBSP
Salt1/4 tsp
Water1/2 cup
Butter or margarine, softened1/4 cup
Eggs, separated3
Grated lemon rind1 tsp
Grated orange rind1 tsp
Raisins1/2 cup
Finely chopped almonds1/2 cup
Sugar1/4 cup
CREAM CHEESE TOPPING
Cream cheese, softened1 package (8 oz.)
Milk2 TBSP
Vanilla1/2 tsp
Salt1/8 tsp
Powdered sugar2 cups
Directions

This recipe is featured at Thyme In Our Kitchen.

 

In large mixer bowl, combine 1cup flour, yeast, 2 TBSP sugar and salt; mix well. Add water (120-130°F), butter and egg yolks. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in rind, raisins and almonds. In small mixer bowl, beat egg whites until stiff; gradually add 1/4 cup sugar. Fold into flour mixture. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.

 

Punch down dough. On lightly floured surface, roll or pat to a 14x7-inch rectangle. Starting with shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll with each turn. Pinch edge and ends to seal. Place in greased 9x5-inch bread pan. With very sharp knife, make a lengthwise slash, 1/4 inch deep, down center of loaf. Cover; let rise in warm place until indentation remains after lightly touching. Bake at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan. Serve warm or cold.

 

Prepare Cream Cheese Topping: In small mixer bowl, blend cream cheese, milk, vanilla and salt; beat until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat until fluffy.
 

 

You can substitute Instant (fast-rising) yeast for Active Dry Yeast. Traditional methods- replace 1:1. Expect your dough to rise faster; always let your dough rise until ‘ripe’. Bread Machines- use 1/2 tsp Instant yeast (or 3/4 tsp Active Dry yeast) per cup of flour in your recipe. Visit our Lessons in Yeast & Baking for more information.

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