Bake your sweetheart this delicious braided bread topped with icing and candied cherries. Recipe for braided Valentine bread makes two loaves.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
- 6 cups bread flour, about
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp grated lemon rind
- 1/4 tsp mace
- 1-1/4 cups milk
- 1/4 cup butter, soft
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- Warm water
- Red candied cherries, halved
- In large bowl, mix together 3 cups flour, the yeast, salt, sugar, lemon, and mace.
- Next, mix in the milk, butter, and eggs.
- Continue to mix in remaining flour until a soft dough is formed.
- Turn dough out onto floured board and begin to knead in the remaining flour until the dough is firm and smooth, not sticky.
- Put dough in greased bowl. Turn dough over so that dough top is also lightly greased. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour or until double in size.
- Punch down dough and knead for about 8 minutes. Divide dough in half and set one half back in bowl.
- To make a braided loaf, divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Work each piece with your hands to form a long rope, about 13 inches in length. Pinch ends of the 3 dough ropes together and tightly braid the dough. Pinch ends together again. Repeat for second loaf.
- Grease baking sheet. Place each loaf on baking sheet, cover and let rise for about 30 minutes or until double in size.
- Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when you tap on the bread top.
- Remove from heat and let cool to warm on rack.
- While loaves are still warm, mix confectioner’s sugar, almond extract, and enough water to make a thick icing. Spread icing on bread and top with candied cherry halves.