Swedish Tea Ring, Braid or Bread
By, Louise Laferriere
No, it is not Christmas yet!!!! However, I have had this post in my draft folder and yesterday a friend asked for it, so I am posting it today and may post it again over the holidays…Hope you enjoy!
Today, I am going to share with you an old family tradition in our family at the Holiday Season and again, at Easter time.
I learned it from my grandmother who learned it from her grandmother and never has a Christmas or Easter happened without this tea ring and its plainer but gorgeous braided version being on my holiday table.
I have given these breads as gifts throughout the years to new neighbors, as house-warming gifts, as well as hostess gifts at holiday parties. They are always a hit!!!
½ C Melted butter
2/3 C sugar
1 tsp. Salt
2 ¼ C Hot milk
1 Egg, well beaten
2 tsps. Almond extract
1 Package yeast
9 C Flour
This recipe will yield 2 loaves of Swedish Bread or 2 Swedish Braided Breads or 2 Swedish Tea Rings. I usually make 1 Braided Bread and 1 Tea Ring.
Mix butter, sugar, salt and hot milk in a large bowl and let cool to lukewarm. Stir the yeast into ¼ C warm water and let it stand for five minutes to dissolve.
Add the dissolved yeast, egg, almond extract and 4 C flour and mix well. Add 4 more cups flour and mix well.
Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead for a minute or two and let rest for 10 minutes, adding the remaining flour if dough is too sticky. Resume kneading until smooth and elastic. Put dough in large buttered bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.
Punch down and knead for a minute or two, divide in half (each half will make one loaf, one ring or one braid).
Swedish Tea Ring;
Roll and shape one of these two halves into a long thin roll. Using a rolling pin and an un-floured board, roll it into a thin rectangle, about 7” x 16”. If it sticks it may be easily lifted with a knife.
Spread with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, ¾ C raisins and ½ C chopped walnuts (I left out the walnuts due to a family member’s allergy).
Starting with the long side, roll like a jelly roll.
Make perpendicular cuts, with scissors, about 1” apart and spread open, so that one side falls flat.
Cover and let rise again.
Brush with 1 egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tsp. cold water.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!
With other half of the dough, divide into 3 equal parts.
Stretch and roll each piece between your hands until you have 3 long, uniform rolls.
Make a braid with the rolls, pinching the 3 pieces firmly together when you start braiding and again when you finish.
Place braid on buttered cookie sheet, cover and let rise again.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
With the other half of the dough, shape into a loaf and place in a buttered loaf pan, cover and let rise again. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on rack. For soft crust, brush crust with melted butter while hot.
Louise-Slave To My Needles