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Christmas Bread

1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 pkgs. dry yeast
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. caraway seeds
6 cups flour
1 cup currants
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped citron

Combine boiling water, butter, salt and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted, and cool to lukewarm. Dissolve 1 tsp. sugar in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Sprinkle in yeast and let stand 10 minutes. Stir well. Add to cooled mixture. Stir in eggs, spices and half of flour. Beat with a spoon until smooth. Add enough of remaining flour to make a soft but not sticky dough. Turn out on floured board and knead until smooth. Knead in fruit. Put in greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until double, 1 - 1/2 hours. Punch down. Knead again a few times. Divide dough in two and shape into two round loaves. Put on greased cooking sheets. (Or shape into two regular loaves and put in greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pans.) Let rise in a warm place until double. Heat oven to 400*F and bake 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350*F and bake 50 minutes. Pour glaze (recipe follows) over loaves while still warm, and let it run down sides of loaves. Decorate with candied cherries and citron if desired.

Glaze

3/4 cup sifted icing sugar
1/4 tsp. almond or rum flavouring
2 tbsp. hot milk

Blend together and pour over warm bread, letting run down sides.

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