This is a wonderful fall bread that tastes amazing with some apple butter or just toasted and topped with a touch of butter and some Jarlsberg cheese. The recipe comes from the Pillsbury Best of the Holidays mini cookbook #285 from November 2004. I saw this one in a checkout lane and bought it for this bread recipe, it sounded delicious and looked so pretty and I love the flavor combination. Apple cider and pumpkin? Can't go wrong with that :)
This recipe makes two braided wreaths, perfect for sharing!
5 3/4 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use 6 cups bread flour)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 packages active dry yeast (or 3 teaspoons bread machine yeast if you go that route)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1. In a large bowl, stir together 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. In 2 quart saucepan heat pumpkin, butter, and cider over medium heat, until 120 to 130 F. Add to flour mixture, beat on medium speed 3 minutes (dough hook) scraping bowl occasionally.
2. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. On floured surface knead until smooth and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and cloth towel; let rise in warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.
3. Grease large cookie sheet. Punch down dough. Divide in half; divide each half into three pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each piece into 24 inch long rope. On cookie sheet, place 3 ropes close together. Braid loosely; pinch ends together, forming a circle. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover, let rise in warm place until almost doubled in size, 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Heat oven to 375 F. In small bowl, beat egg and water until well blended, brush over braids. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
5. Bake 18 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire racks. Cool about 1 hour.
*** I like to bake at 350 for 30 minutes, if your bread is browning to quickly cover with tin foil halfway through.
Put all ingredients in bread machine in order suggested by manufacturer and set on dough cycle. Skip to step 3 and finish from there.