Day 347 {nana's bread}

Today I did some Christmas baking. My favourite Christmas recipe has always been my grandmother's Christmas bread. She used to make it for us every year back as far as I can remember. Every year we would get a loaf from her for our family and then when I moved away to college I started getting my own loaf.

Anyway, although I haven't made it many times, thanks to my wonderful aunts and mother (thank you) I have had great success.

Here's the recipe (which for those of you who have Nana's recipe card, you might want to write this one down as the one I gave you is not the right one):

Nana's Christmas Bread

1 can carnation whole evaporated milk
1 can water
1 lb salted butter
1/2 cup sugar, divided
3 pkts quick rise yeast
approx. 2/3 package of flour
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup red and green cherries, cut up and divided (I actually used more like double this)
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp milk

1. Combine butter, carnation milk, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 can water in a sauce pan. Heat on low until the butter is melted. Cool in a bowl.

2. While the mixture is cooling, mix 3 packets of yeast with 3/4 cup warm water and a 1/4 cup sugar. Stir and cover with a clean towel. Leave for 10 minutes or until it rises to the top (I had it sitting on a warm stove and it took no time at all). Add to mixture in bowl.

3. Add flour until you can knead the dough. Make sure it isn't sticky but isn't too dry.

4. Cover dough with a dish towel, put the bowl on top upside down. As the dough rises, remove the bowl. Let dough rise approximately 30 min - 1 hour or until doubled in size.

5. Punch dough down. Add raisins and cherries. Knead until smooth and elastic. Divide and braid, three sections per braid, two braids per loaf. Stack braids, poke through braids to secure. Place extra cherries firmly in the dough in various places (my grandmother was very particular about the cherry placement).

6. Place on parchment paper. Let rise on pre-heating stove approximately 20 minutes.

7. Bake at 375 degrees F until golden brown (approximately 30-40 min). Brush loaf with margarine. Let cool.

8. Glaze loaf with icing sugar and milk mixture. Enjoy!

Anyway, in other unrelated news, we have a celebrity in the family. The kids' Uncle Terry is famous. Yesterday he gave them a beautiful book in which he is illustrated as one of the main characters. How cool is that?!

And little miss Ava whose latest phrase is "it just disappeared". I went to visit my grandmother at the nursing home and came home to find Jason washing Ava's hair in the kitchen sink. It appears that half of a bottle of travel size shampoo just "disappeared" into her hair while she was in the bathroom washing her hands.

As I type this it is a week later and Miss Not Me has surfaced a couple of additional times. Thanks for looking!