How to Make Christmas Bread

My mother was the daughter of Norwegian immigrants who homesteaded our small Wisconsin dairy farm in the late 1800s. Christmas bread was one of the goodies she baked in December.

Christmas Bread
This recipe makes two loaves.
2 cups warm water
2 packages of dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup shortening (I have also used Canola oil)
1 to 2 cups of citron (if you really like the taste of citron, add 2 cups)
6 to 7 cups of flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 2 cups of flour, sugar, eggs, salt, shortening/oil and beat until smooth. Add citron. Add 4 cups of flour. Mix. Knead for 10 minutes. If dough becomes too sticky, knead in an-other 1/2 to 1 cup of flour.

Let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour. Punch down dough. Knead for a minute or two. Shape into loaves. Place in greased loaf pans and let rise for 45 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Turn out of pans. Allow the bread to cool before slicing it.

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LeAnn R. Ralph is a freelance writer in west central Wisconsin, is the editor of the Wisconsin Regional Writer (the quarterly publication of the Wisconsin Regional Writers' Assoc.) and is the author of the book: Christmas In Dairyland (True Stories From a Wisconsin Farm) (August 2003; trade paperback) http://ruralroute2.com

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