1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
(DO NOT USE SALTED BUTTER)
1/3 cup eggnog
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon lemon
Bread: Combine yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and warm water. Let stand while measuring
Food processor method: Place dough blade in work bowl. Add flour, butter,
salt, remaining sugar and nutmeg. Pulse. Stir together the eggnog with the extracts.
Set aside. Turn machine on and pour the yeast in through the small feed tube.
Without stopping the machine, pour in the eggnog mixture in a slow steady stream.
Add the extra 2 tablespoons eggnog, if needed, to pull the dough together into
a ball. Let ball revolve about 30 times in the work bowl to fully knead it.
Place dough in an oiled bowl or a plastic bag and set in a warm place to
rise. Note: sweet, rich doughs often take longer to develop, perhaps 75 to 90
minutes to double.
Mixer or hand method: Put proofed yeast in a large bowl. Add eggnog, extracts
and melted butter. Stir to combine. Add nutmeg and salt. Add half of the flour
and beat for 2 minutes. Add half of remaining flour and beat again for 2 minutes.
Empty remaining flour into the dough. Knead dough for about 8 minutes. Dough
should be soft but not overly sticky. Set in warm place until doubled. See Note
Both methods: Spray smooth work surface with nonstick pan spray. Spray a
large cookie sheet. Empty risen dough out onto sprayed area and shape into a
roll about 22 to 24 inches long. Cut this roll in half, lengthwise. Starting
in middle, working to both ends, lap the 2 long pieces over and over each other
to form one long twisted rope shape. Lift rope onto cookie sheet. Shape rope
into a round wreath, joining a top twist from one end to a bottom twist from
the other end. Repeat with other 2 ends. Cover loosely with sprayed plastic
wrap and set aside to double in size. Before dough finished doubling, preheat
oven to 375 degrees F.
Finishing: Whisk egg white and water together. When dough has doubled, brush
with egg white mixture then sprinkle first with sliced almonds and then the
coarse sugar. Stick halves of the candied cherries, firmly, around as you like.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool. Cover when cooled.
Serve with Eggnog Butter.
Eggnog Butter: Beat all ingredients with a mixer until smooth and fluffy.
Beat with mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Mound in a bowl and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.