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Caramel Braid

1package active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water (105-115ºF)
1 cup warm 1% milk (105-115ºF)
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup margarine or butter
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 large eggs, beaten
4 ¾-5 cups bread flour, divided

Filling: (combine)
1 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened

Icing: (optional)
¼ cup butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons 1% milk

In mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in milk, sugar, ¼ cup margarine, salt, eggs and 2 cups flour. Beat 4 minutes; gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead 10-12 minutes by hand or with dough hook. Place dough in lightly greased bowl. Cover; let rise until double. Punch dough down. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Roll each into a 14x12-inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle into 3 strips, 14x4 inches. Spread 1/6 of the filling down center of each strip. Pinch edges and ends securely to seal, forming a rope. Place 3 ropes on greased sheet, seam-side down. Braid loosely, pinch ends and tuck under. Repeat. Cover; let rise until double. Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven 25-30 minutes or until golden. Loosely cover with foil last 5-10 minutes to prevent over-browning. Remove from sheet; cool on rack. If desired, drizzle with icing. Icing: Heat ¼ cup butter over medium heat until light brown. Stir in confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth. Makes two braids, 12 slices each.

Nutritional Analysis: One slice, without icing, provides 201 calories, 5 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 18 mg cholesterol, 1 g dietary fiber, 22 mg calcium, 67 mg potassium and 202 mg sodium.