My favorite two holiday breads are Julkaka (literally translated as Christmas roundloaf) and Hot Cross Buns. This recipe presents the best of both worlds: the dried fruits and cardamom of Julkaka, and the zingy orange-almond glaze of Hot Cross Buns.
makes 3 small loaves
1 cup scalded milk
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 package yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
4-5 cups all-purpose flour (plus more if humid)
1 tablespoon fresh ground cardamom
1-2 teaspoons fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
1/2 cup craisins, chopped
Zest of one orange
~1/2 cup bourbon
Butter and olive oil
1 egg, beaten
Dissolve yeast in water. Scald milk and add melted butter, salt, sugar. When lukewarm add to yeast mixture. Stir in 2 cups flour. Place in greased bowl; cover and place in warm area to rise about 2 hours or until doubled. Gently fold in cardamom, nutmeg, cherries, craisins, zest, and bourbon; work in remaining flour until soft dough forms. Placed in greased bowl; cover and let rise in warm area about 2 to 3 hours or until doubled. Form 3 round loaves. Place on greased cookies sheets and cover; let rise 1 to 2 hours or until doubled. Brush with beaten egg and bake about 30 - 40 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven until loaves sound hollow when you knock on them. Cool on rack.
Combine powdered sugar, fresh squeezed orange juice, and almond extract to make glaze and spread on cooled loaves.