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Wreath, snowflake, Christmas tree.

Two easy techniques--cut and slash--bring holiday designs to a simple sweet bread. You divide dough, forming each half into a round or triangle. With a knife, shape each into a snowflake, wreath, or tree. After the dough shapes rise, brush them with egg, and decorative touches with a single-edge razor blade, then bake.

Cut-and-Slash Loaves 1 package active dry yeast 1/4 cup warm water (110[deg.]) 3/4 cup warm milk (110[deg.]) 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter of margarine, melted 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel 3 large eggs 4-1/4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water; let stand to soften, about 5 minutes. Mix in milk, butter, sugar, salt, lemon peel, 2 eggs, and 2 cups of flour; stir. With a dough hook or spoon, beat until smooth. Stir in 2-1/4 cups of flour.

To use a dough hook, mix until dough pulls from bowl sides and feels only slightly sticky; add more flour if needed. Cover.

To mix by hand, scrape dough onto a floured board and knead until smooth and satiny, 10 to 15 minutes. Add flour if dough sticks. Place dough in a greased bowl; turn over to grease top. Cover. to 1-1/2 hours.

Punch dough down; knead briefly to release air. Divide dough in half. Cut each portion to shape (directions follow). Lightly cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, 30 to 45 minutes. Beat remaining egg. Brush dough with egg; slash as directed. Bake in 350[deg.] oven until browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on racks. Serve warm or cool. To store, wrap and freeze. Reheat thawed loaf, lightly covered with foil, in a 350[deg.] oven until warm, 7 to 10 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.

Snowflake. Form 1 portion of dough into a ball. Place in center of a greased 10- by 15-inch baking sheet. Press dough into a flat 8-inch round. Make four equidistant 3-inch cuts toward center.

Apply egg. Using a razor blade, make a 3-inch slash down the center of each quarter, then cut three 1-1/2- to 2-inch slashes down each side of each center slash.

Wreath. Press 1 portion of dough into a round as described for snowflake. Poke a hole in center and pull equally from each side of hole to make a 2-inch opening in center; keep dough an even 3/4-inch thickness as you work. Cut 2- to 2-1/2-inch slanting cuts in from edge, spacing them about 3 inches apart (see picture).

Apply egg. Uisng a razor blade, cut a 3-inch slash down center of each leaf.

Tree. On a greased 10- by 15-inch baking sheet, form 1 portion of dough into a flat triangle with a 6-inch base and 9-inch sides. Make 2-1/2- to 3-1/2-inch slanting cuts along the sides, spacing them about 3 inches apart (see picture).

Apply egg. Using a razor blade, slash down triangle's center and cut a 2- to 3-inch-long slash down each branch.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Dec 1, 1985
Words:517
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