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|Recipe courtesy North Dakota Wheat Commission|
|3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons margarine
2 3/4 to 3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped candied cherries
2 tablespoons chopped candied orange peel
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
|Heat milk and margarine until very warm (120 -130 degrees F). In bowl combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast; add milk mixture and egg. Blend at low speed and beat 3 minutes at medium speed. Stir in raisins, cherries, orange peel and nutmeg. Stir in 1 3/4 to 2 cups flour to make a soft dough that is easy to handle.
Knead on a floured surface 12 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Shape into ball and place in greased bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and towel; let rise in warm place until doubled in size - about 1½ hours.
Punch dough down and divide into 9 pieces of equal size. Shape each piece into a ball: cover and let rest 5-10 minutes. Roll each ball under the hands to make a 15-inch strand.
Place 4 strands on lightly greased baking sheet and braid, start-ing at the center and braiding to each end. Make a depression down center of braid. (This helps to keep the next braid in place.)
Braid 3 strands loosely, again braiding from the center to both ends. Lay on top of braid on baking sheet. Make a depression down center of braid.
Twist 2 remaining strands loosely around each other. Lay in depression on the second tier of braids. Bring ends of twist down over ends of loaf; tuck ends of twist under loaf. Cover with towel and let rise in warm place, free from drafts until doubled, about 1½ hours.
Bake in pre-heated 400 degree F. oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and place on wire rack. When cool, spread with Viennese Striezel Frosting and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Makes 1 large loaf.
Viennese Striezel Frosting: To 1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and enough milk or cream (about 2 1/2 teaspoons) to make a smooth frosting.