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Kulich


Yield

Makes 1 large or 2 small loaves

Ingredients

1/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
4 tablespoons sugar
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 large egg, beaten
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 to 1/3 cup evaporated or fresh milk
1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup candied orange peel
Sugar Icing
Whole almonds and candied cherries (optional)

Preparation

  1. Combine water, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and yeast. Stir to dissolve yeast and let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Blend egg into yeast mixture.
  2. Fit processor with steel blade. Measure flour, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, butter, salt and cardamom into work bowl. Process until mixed, about 5 seconds. Add yeast mixture; process until blended, about 10 seconds.
  3. Turn on processor and very slowly drizzle just enough milk through feed tube so dough forms a ball that cleans the sides of the bowl. Process until ball turns around bowl about 25 times. Turn off processor and let dough stand 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Turn on processor and gradually drizzle in enough remaining milk to make dough soft, smooth and satiny but not sticky. Process until dough turns around bowl about 15 times.
  5. Turn dough onto lightly greased surface. Knead almonds, raisins and orange peel into dough. Shape dough into ball and place in lightly greased bowl, turning to grease all sides. Let stand in warm place (85°F) until doubled, about 1 hour.
  6. Punch down dough. Shape dough into smooth ball and place in well greased 2-pound coffee can or divide dough in half and place in two well greased 1-pound coffee cans. Cover can with plastic lid. Let stand in warm place until doubled (lid should pop off), about 1 hour.
  7. Heat oven to 350°F. Bake bread on lowest rack of oven until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let bread cool in can 10 minutes, then remove from can and place upright on wire rack. Spread Sugar Icing over top of loaf. Decorate with almonds and candied cherries, if desired. Cool.

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