Cranberry Eggnog Braided Bread

This is one of those recipes I only make once a year, because it only seems appropriate at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Seeing as how on Christmas we always have panettone, saffron buns, and a multitude of other carb-heavy delights, I decided to bring this bread to Connecticut with us for Thanksgiving morning. I received this recipe years ago from an old co-worker of mine (not sure if this was a recipe from her family or if she got it somewhere else-sorry, readers!), and I absolutely love it. Depending on what you have in your kitchen, you can either use fresh cranberries or dried. I prefer fresh, just because I love the contrast of the tartness of the cranberries with the sweet eggnog frosting. Unfortunately my food processor decided to go on the fritz, so I had to add WHOLE cranberries to the mixture. It still tasted okay, but consider yourself warned-if you don't chop the cranberries, it will make the dough all that more difficult to shape. Regardless, this is a perfect addition to a Thanksgiving breakfast. Enjoy!


1 1/2 cups flour (plus 2 extra cups for mixture, and extra flour for kneading)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 tsp nutmeg, plus a little more for dusting
1 1/4 cup eggnog, plus 2 T for frosting
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup dried or fresh cranberries
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract


1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, active dry yeast, and 1/2 tsp nutmeg.
2. In a saucepan, heat 1 1/4 cup of eggnog and butter to approx 120-130 degrees (butter does not need to melt). Add to the flour mixture.
3. Beat on low until moistened, then beat on medium for 3 minutes.
4. Stir in the cranberries.
5. Add up to 2 cups of flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto floured board, and knead for 8 minutes.

6. Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise for one hour.
7. Punch down dough, and divide into thirds.

8. Braid the dough, either into a circle by pinching the ends together, or in a row (which I ended up doing).

9. Cover and let rise, about 45 minutes.
10. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden.

11. Combine powdered sugar, 2 T of eggnog, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
12. Drizzle over the braid. Dust with nutmeg, and allow to cool completely.


Popular Posts