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Greek Sweet Bread

Yield 3 loaves

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk, scalded
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 9 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup warm milk (105° to 115°)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten

How to Make It

  1. Allow 1 cup scalded milk to cool to 105° to 115°. Combine cooled milk, yeast, and 1 cup flour in a bowl; cover and let stand in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, overnight.

  2. Combine beaten eggs, butter, sugar, 1 cup warm milk, salt, vanilla, and orange rind in a large mixing bowl; mix well. Add yeast mixture; stir well. Gradually add remaining 8 1/2 cups flour to make a soft dough.

  3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and repeat rising procedure 1 hour and 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

  4. Punch dough down; cover and repeat rising procedure 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down; turn out onto a floured surface.

  5. Divide dough into 6 portions; shape each into a 22-inch rope. Pinch 2 ropes together at one end to seal. Twist ropes together. Shape twist into a ring, and place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining ropes.

  6. Cover ropes, and repeat rising procedure 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

  7. Gently brush loaves with beaten egg yolks. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Cover loaves loosely with aluminum foil; continue to bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Transfer loaves to wire racks to cool.

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