Holiday Eggnog Wreath

Course : Christmas
Serves: 12
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3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup dairy eggnog or canned eggnog
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups snipped dried apricots or golden raisins
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons dairy or canned eggnog

Preparation / Directions:

1. Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the yeast and the nutmeg in a large bowl; set aside. Heat and stir the 1 cup eggnog, 1/4 cup water, margarine, granulated sugar, and salt in a saucepan till warm (120 F to 130 F) and margarine in almost melted. Add to flour mixture. Add egg. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in dried fruits and as much of the remaining flour as you can with a wooden spoon. 2. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape into a ball; place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise in a warm place till double (1 to 1 1/2 hours). 3. Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into three equal portions. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each portion of dough into a 24 inch rope. 4. To make braid, line up the three ropes, 1 inch apart, on a large greased baking sheet. Starting in the middle, loosely braid toward each end. Shape bread into a circle. Press ends together to seal. Cover and let rise till nearly double (about 30 to 45 minutes). Bake in a 350 F oven for 20 minutes. Cover loosely with foil and bake 15 to 20 minutes more or till lightly golden. Cool. 5. Combine powdered sugar and the 1 to 2 tablespoons eggnog to make a glaze of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over loaf.

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