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Candy Cane Holiday Bread
A rich dough and colorful cherries make this festive holiday bread irresistible.
3 candy cane braids
15 to 20 minutes
6-1/2 to 7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons Argo® Baking Powder
2 (4-1/2 tsp.) envelopes Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1-1/2 cups drained and chopped maraschino cherries
Powdered Sugar Glaze
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
Maraschino cherries, halved (optional)
Combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, undissolved yeast and salt in a large mixer bowl. Heat buttermilk, sour cream, water and butter until very warm (120° to 130°F). Gradually add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 1 cup flour. Beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Roll each to a 15 x 6-inch rectangle. Transfer to greased baking sheets. Sprinkle chopped maraschino cherries lengthwise over center third of each rectangle. With sharp knife, make cuts from filling to dough edges at 1/2-inch intervals along sides of filling. Alternating sides, fold strips at an angle across filling. Shape into candy canes. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Bake in 375°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or lightly browned, rotating pans as needed. Remove from sheets; cool on wire racks. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Glaze; decorate with halved maraschino cherries, if desired.
Powdered Sugar Glaze: Combine powdered sugar, vanilla and milk in a small bowl, adding enough milk to reach drizzling consistency. Stir until smooth.