Preparation / Directions:
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add beaten egg and salt.
Stir in cooled milk, and then the yeast. Add l l/2 cups sifted
flour; beat to smooth batter. Cover and let rise until light,
about one hour.
Stir spices and dried orange zest into the sponge. Add 4 l/2 cups
of flour to make a soft dough. Place on a lightly floured board,
and knead until smooth and elastic. Knead in raisins and candied
peel. Put in a well oiled bowl, and turn once to coat the surface
of the dough. Cover. Set aside to rise until double in bulk, about
Divide dough into ten parts, roll into desired lengths, and let rise
about l5 minutes. On a heavily greased baking sheet, make a braid of
three parts, beginning in the center and working braid loosely toward
each end. Pinch ends together. Twist the remaining two pieces together,
and place on the base of the braid. In a small bowl, beat together egg
yolk and milk; brush the loaf with this mixture. Sprinkle sliced almonds
over the loaf. Repeat process for second loaf. Let rise about 45 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Transfer bread to a wire rack, and
cool completely. Cover while cooling with a tea towel to make a soft
crust. Sprinkle with confectioners` sugar.