You’re welcome! Because you will love this bread! It is a lightly sweetened almond bread, filled with rich almond paste, sweet maraschino cherries, and semisweet chocolate. It is beautiful and delicious! This recipe is adapted from Odense Almond Raspberry Braid.
4 Tbsp butter
1/3 Cup milk
1 pkg active dry yeast
¼ Cup warm water (105˚ to 110˚)
1 Tbsp maraschino cherry juice or 1 tsp sugar
2 eggs lightly whisked
½ Cup sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp almond extract
3 Cups bread flour
1 7 oz. pkg of almond paste
1 Cup grated semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup quartered maraschino cherries
½ to ¾ Cup sliced almonds (1- 2.25 oz.pkg)
1 egg white
1 Tbsp water
1/3 Cup powdered sugar
1 tsp milk
½ tsp almond extract
Melt butter in milk and set it aside until it’s lukewarm. In your mixing bowl, add active dry yeast, warm water, and juice from the maraschino cherries container or sugar. Once the yeast is activated and bubbling, continue adding ingredients.
In a separate bowl, mix lightly whisked eggs, sugar, and salt. Add to mixing bowl along with flour, melted butter, and milk.
Knead with a dough hook in a stand mixer for 5 minutes or by hand on a floured surface for 5 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch down the raised dough. Place on lightly floured surface and roll out with a rolling pin to approximately a 10” x 14” size rectangle. Place the rolled dough on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Roll out the almond paste to an approximate 3” x 12” size.Place the rolled almond paste lengthwise down the center of the rolled dough. Cover almond paste with grated semi-sweet chocolate and cover chocolate with quartered maraschino cherries.
Leaving about an inch on either side of the filling, make angled cuts approximately one inch in width along the side of the dough equally on each side. Fold the two ends up over the filling. Braid the dough on top from one end to the other by gently lifting the sides and crossing one strip over the other from alternate sides. Tuck in the final braid. Cover and let rise for one hour.
Dab a light egg wash on the top and partially down the side of the braid. Place sliced almonds on the egg washed dough and bake in the preheated 350˚ oven for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown.
Let the braid cool completely. Drizzle glaze back and forth across the width, continuing along the length of the bread.
Share it and Enjoy! Do you love it? Let us know. We would love to hear from you!