Candy Cane Holiday Bread

Yield: 3 candy canes - 36 servings

6 1/2 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 envelopes (1/2 ounce or 4 1/2 tsp) 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
2 eggs, large
1 1/2 cups drained and chopped maraschino cherries

Powdered Sugar Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Maraschino cherries, halved (optional)

In large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cup flour, sugar, baking powder, undissolved yeast, and salt. 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 15 x 6-inch rectangle. Transfer to greased baking sheets. Sprinkle chopped maraschino cherries lengthwise over center-third of each rectangle. With a sharp knife or pastry wheel, 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 at 375 F for 15 to 20 minutes or until done. Remove from sheets; cool on wire racks. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Glaze and decorate with halved maraschino cherries, if desired.

Powdered Sugar Glaze: In small bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted; 2 to 3 tablespoons milk, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.

Nutrition Information per Serving 1/36 of recipe:
Calories : 160, Total fat : 4 g, Saturated fat : 2.5 g, Cholesterol : 20 mg, Sodium : 190 mg, Carbohydrates : 28 g, Dietary fiber : <1 g, Protein : 3 g
Source: Fleischmann's Yeast, a division of Burns Philp Food, Inc.

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