Grandmother's Sweet Bread
One of my fondest memories of Easter is when my Grandmother would make her tremendous sweet bread. This yummy dessert is sort of a cross between cake and a sweet bread, and when you bake it, you'll see why our whole family loves it.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine, chilled
- 3 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast (3 tablespoons)
- 3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F, 45 degrees C)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 cup sugar
- 7 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine
- 6 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 egg whites
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon.
- Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter or margarine until mixture resembles crumbs. Set aside.
- Grease side and bottom of 2 (10-inch) tube pans.
- In a shallow, medium bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
- Add 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 cup flour, stir to combine.
- Cover, let stand in a warm place 5 to 10 minutes until foamy.
- Heat milk and butter or margarine in a small saucepan until melted.
- Let stand until mixture cools to warm.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs, egg yolks and remaining 1 cup sugar until pale and frothy.
- Add cooled milk mixture, salt and yeast mixture. Beat until smooth.
- Gradually beat in 4-1/2 cups flour.
- Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
- Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface.
- Knead into a soft, smooth dough.
- Divide dough in half.
- Arrange 1 part dough in each greased pan.
- Cover with a damp cloth, let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Lightly beat 2 egg whites in a small bowl until foamy.
- Brush beaten egg whites on top of dough.
- Evenly sprinkle Topping over dough.
- Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool cakes in pans 3 to 4 minutes on racks.
- Turn out of pans, cool completely on racks.
- Frost with Powdered-Sugar Icing, if desired (recipe below). Makes 2 (10-inch) cakes.
- 2 egg whites
- 1-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until frothy.
- Gradually add powdered sugar, beating constantly. Beat 10 minutes or until glossy.
- Add lemon juice, beat 2 minutes or until icing stands up in soft peaks. Makes about 1-1/4 cups icing.
- Variation: Add food coloring or flavorings, such as 1 teaspoon sifted unsweetened cocoa powder or vanilla extract. Use a little more sugar if liquids are added.
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