- 2 pkgs active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (105-115 F)
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 slightly beaten eggs
- 7 1/2 to 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups chopped dried apricots
- 1 cup chopped maraschino cherries
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
In a small bowl dissolve yeast in the warm water. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Heat and stir just until warm (115-120 F) and butter almost melts.
In a large bowl combine yeast mixture, warmed milk mixture, and eggs. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the flour as you can. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3-5 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of the dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, (about 1 1/2 hours).
Combine apricots and cherries. Set aside.
Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface roll 1/2 the prepared dough to a
12x18 inch rectangle. Spread 1/2 of fruit mixture evenly over dough. Roll up jell-roll style, starting from the long side. Seal seam. Place on a greased baking sheet. Shape dough into a ring; seal seams. With scissors, make cuts 2/3 of the way through the ring at 1-inch intervals. Turn each section on its side. Repeat steps with remaining half of dough and fruit. Let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (30-40 minutes).
Bake in a 375 degree oven about 20-25 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when you tap the top with your fingers (if necessary, cover the loaf loosely with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning). Immediately remove bread from baking sheet. Cool on a wire rack.
In a small mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in milk until icing reaches drizzling consistency. Drizzle the bread with icing. Makes 2 loaves (12 to 16 servings each).