Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Raisin Apple Braids

These make a nice gift for your neighbours. Depending on the size you want, you can divide the dough to make 3 or 4 braids. I photographed them as Christmas gifts but of course you can make them any time of year and freeze the extras if you like. The recipe comes from the 1968 Pillsbury Bake Off Breads Cook Book.

  • 6 1/2 - 7 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs
Raisin Apple Filling
  • 2 1/2 cups peeled, finely chopped apple
  • 1 cup chopped raisins (I use sultanas. rinsed well through a sieve)
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (opt.)
  1. In large mixer bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and dry yeast.
  2. In 4 cup glass measuring cup, microwave milk and butter until milk is warm and butter has begun to melt. (or warm it in a saucepan on the stove)
  3. Add warm milk to mixing bowl and mix on low
  4. Add slightly beaten eggs and continue to mix until well moistened.
  5. Mix for 3 minutes.
  6. Change to dough hook and then add remaining flour to make a stiff dough.
  7. Continue to mix or knead by hand for 5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
  8. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top.
  9. Cover and let rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size. (I usually do this in the oven which I have warmed to 170 degrees and then turned off.)
  10. Line 2 cookie sheets (with edges) with parchment paper.
  11. Prepare Apple Raisin Filling: In saucepan, combine all filling ingredients except pecans. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil at least 5 minutes, stirring frequently or until it thickens somewhat. Cool
  12. Punch down dough and divide in half. (or into 3 sections)
  13. Roll each section into a rectangle and place on cookie sheet.
  14. Spread centre third of each rectangle with Raisin Apple Filling (see picture below).
  15. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough diagonally at 1 inch intervals on both sides of filling.
  16. Fold opposite strips of dough over filling, crossing in centre. (see picture below)
  17. Seal ends of each braid.
  18. Cover and let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size.
  19. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  20. Remove to racks and cool.
  21. Ice and decorate as desired.





16 comments:

  1. these look so good, what a wonderful way to give a gift. lucky receiver!

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  2. Those look so yummy! I'm almost tempted to make some :). Have to see how much time I have btwn now & Christmas.....

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  3. I need to take a yummy to a meeting tomorrow night. I was thinking of making a tea ring and knew I would have to dig for a recipe. Here it is--ready for me to bake tomorrow.

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  4. Can you come over for dinner next week with one of those in your hand? :0)
    Beautiful work Bev!

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  5. These look delicious! My husband doesn't like raisins, so maybe I'll substitute dried cherries or cranberries?

    Thanks for your wonderful recipes, and I especially love the BREAD for the Journey!

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  6. these look amazing - great idea to give as a gift!

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  7. This may be a dumb question but if you don't have parchment paper, can you grease the pan instead?

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  8. These sound very good.I might just keep them for myself.
    Blessings,Ruth

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  9. a question, what are sultanas? are they big dark raisins or the golden raisins? and why do you rinse them? these look wonderful and perfect for gift giving. thanks.

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  10. Yes Chris, you can substitute dried cherries or cranberries - I've often done that.
    Jeanne, Of course you can grease the pan. I only use parchment paper to save myself the work of cleaning the melted sugar off the pan later.
    AngAK, sultanas are raisins made from Thompson grapes. They are darker in colour than golden raisins but are much the same texture unlike the California raisins which are almost black in colour.
    I always rinse sultanas because my mother always did and because my grade 7 Home Ec teacher told me to! (grin) I find they sometimes have a bit of grit or sand in them and washing them also helps to plump the raisins up a bit more.

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  11. Bev - I'm partial to this kind of baking! These loaves look beautiful and I like how you showed how to cross the tops.

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  12. This sounds so good I am going to try it.....thanks for explaining the recipe so clearly.

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  13. my goodness Bev, you have outdone yourself! Great gift and so very pretty!

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  14. Thanks so much for this one! I was able to impress my friends with the lovely braided look! I gave one braid to my neighbour for Christmas and had the other with my husband for Christmas Eve lunch! Very yummy!

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  15. Tastes as good as it looks! My experience just now was that the flour/liquid ratio needed some adjustment so would add the flour more cautiously next time to make my dough a little softer. Now to add the icing and trimmings ... Umm!!

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  16. This tastes as great as it looks! I did have some trouble mixing the dough in my Bosch with the given amounts of flour to liquid and had to add water. I would use less flour to make a somewhat softer dough next time. After I prepared the filling, I was concerned that it might be a bit runny so I stirred in about a tbsp. of flour before spreading it. I was perhaps a bit too generous with the filling and I ran out with still some dough remaining. I improvised with some mincemeat I had on hand. Worked out very well. I had never tried anything like this and was pleased at how it turned out.

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