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Annette K. Valdez – Burleson, Texas
1st Place – Bread, 2012
2 pkgs. yeast
1/4 c. warm water
6-7 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. milk
2 lg. eggs
2 tsp. salt
Stir yeast and water together in large bowl; rest for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups flour with sugar, milk, eggs and salt, beating with mixer for 2 minutes. Slowly work in enough flour to make sticky dough. Gently knead dough for 5 minutes until smooth. Place plastic wrap over dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
1 1/2 c. cold butter
1/3 c. flour
Combine butter and flour; divide and form into 6 x 9-inch rectangles in between 2 pieces of wax paper. Chill for 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into 7 x 20-inch rectangle and place one butter pat on center third of dough. Fold one long end of dough over butter. Place other butter pat on top of folded dough and fold remaining dough over butter (like a book). Give dough a quarter turn and gently turn and gently roll dough into 24 x 8-inch rectangle. Fold dough in thirds.
Place on baking sheet covered with plastic for 30 minutes. Repeat rolling and folding process 3 more times, refrigerating for 30 minutes in between each time.
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 c. plumped raisins
3/4 c. chopped apricots
2 T. cinnamon
1/4 c. grated bittersweet chocolate
1/2 c. melted butter
Combine all filling ingredients together and set aside. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut in half; place remaining dough back in refrigerator covered. Cut dough in 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into 10-inch square on floured surface. Spread one cup of filling, leaving 1-inch edge on each square of dough; roll up like pinwheel, tuck edges in and brush excess flour off. Roll each piece of dough into 16-inch rope. Braid 3 strands of dough and place on greased cookie sheet diagonally. Let braid rise for 1-3 hours or until puffy.
2 T. butter, melted & cooled
1 lg. egg, beaten
Combine egg and butter together until well mixed. Brush egg wash over braid before baking.
Preheat oven to 375º. Bake loaves for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown; make a foil tent, cover and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and glaze.
2 T. melted butter
1/4 c. cream or milk
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
2 c. powdered sugar
Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth. Repeat steps with remaining dough.
Makes 2 braids.
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