Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal


Christmas ‘Julekage’ Bread

Christmas Bread

You’d better have a day off and a lot of time to create this wonderful Christmas Bread. Three risings at 2 hours each means you’re committed. But when you slice into this on Christmas Eve, or toast it on Christmas morning, you’ll be glad you took the time. This is Joyce Gauche’s family recipe and I have no idea where she found the time to make this; it’s truly a labor of love.

Ingredients ~

  • 2 packages yeast
  • ½ cup lukewarm water
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups milk, scalded
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup candied fruit (or ½ cup citron and ½ cup cherries)
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 egg white, beaten until foamy
  • 1 Tablespoon cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Method ~

Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm water. Beat butter and sugar 10 minutes. Add the eggs, milk, yeast mixture, salt and 4 cups flour and combine well. Put into a bowl and let it rise for 2 hours. Punch down, add and combine well to following:

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup candied fruit (or ½ cup citron and ½ cup cherries)
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cardamom

Add more flour to make a soft dough. Add flour slowly and carefully—don’t use too much. This is a soft dough, not sticky. Let this rise another 2 hours.

Punch down and shape into 3 or 4 round loaves. Brush the tops of each loaf with an egg wash:

  • 1 egg white, beaten until foamy
  • 1 Tablespoon cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Let this rise another 2 hours.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

When the bread has cooled a bit, top with glaze and a few pieces of candied fruit

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • Cream, enough to make a thick glaze
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pieces of candied fruit

 

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