Dec. 18 , 2006

Dorothy Brandel liks her Christmas baking quick

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

Dorothy Brandel of Stockholm Township appreciates the quickness of her favorite Christmas recipe, Holiday Braid, because she has been baking, often from scratch, since she was 13 years old.

Brandel’s Holiday Braid is a variation of the Swedish Tea Ring, except she starts with frozen bread dough. When Brandel was a young girl growing up on a farm near New Ulm, she made the tea ring the long way, with yeast.

Brandel’s mother was an excellent baker. She always reminded her daughter when making rolls, bread or buns, to make sure to use fresh yeast or her baked goods won’t rise, Brandel said.

Brandel got an early start being responsible for the family baking because her mother wanted to work more outside, such as gardening or helping to milk the cows.

Brandel married her childhood sweetheart, Laurel, and they moved to the Cokato area, where there was more farmland available. The couple still lives on the 240-acre farm, where they used to have 50 dairy cows. Now, the farm is rented out to their son, Allen.

Brandel often serves the Holiday Braid for Saturday morning coffee, when the Brandel children and grandchildren get together and enjoy her baked goods.

Another one of Brandel’s holiday treats is Holiday Banana Bread. It is a particular favorite of her grandson, Mike.

Below are the recipes of Brandel’s Christmas favorites:

Holiday Braid

1 loaf of frozen bread dough

1 egg white

1/2 cup solid Crisco shortening

1 tsp. vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

Green and red cherries

Chopped walnuts

Thaw loaf of frozen bread dough. Cut into 3 strips. Roll strips into even lengths. Pinch ends together and braid. Pinch ends together and place on greased baking pan. Let rise until double, but no more or it won’t look like a braid.

Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown, according to the temperature recommended on the package of frozen bread dough. Remove from oven and let cool.

Beat together egg white, shortening, and vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. If too dry add some drops of water.

Spread frosting on braid and decorate with green and red cherries and walnuts.

Holiday Banana Bread

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

3 eggs

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup walnuts

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup maraschino cherries

3 mashed bananas

Beat together sugar, butter and eggs. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar and mix well. Add walnuts, raisins, cherries and bananas and mix well.

Pour into greased bread pans. Let stand 20 minutes. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

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