With a little experimenting, Stiers whipped up this magical combination of sweet and tart — perfectly refreshing with a big cup of cocoa, hot coffee or cider while opening stockings on Christmas morning.
Read on to get the full recipe!
1/3 cup sugar
1 package (1/4 ounce) active-dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Powdered sugar for dusting
In a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough attatchment, mix the sugar, yeast, salt and 1 cup of the flour (you’ll use the other 2 1/2 cups later). If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can simply use a large bowl and mix the sugar, yeast, salt and 1 cup of flour, together.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the water, milk and butter, until butter is melted. Let cool until mixture is lukewarm.
Once cooled, add the liquid to dry ingredients in stand mixer and mix on speed 1.
Stir in flour, one cup at a time, until a smooth dough is formed, increasing the speed to 2.
Mix until dough comes together in a clean ball. Shape dough into a smooth ball, transfer to a lightly greased large bowl. Cover and allow to rise for one hour or doubled in size, usually around 1 hour. (Baker’s note: If you’re dough is too sticky, add more flour, a spoonful at a time. If it’s too dry, add a little olive oil)
While you’re waiting on your bread to rise, combine cranberries, brown sugar, cornstarch and water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 10-15 minutes. Make sure and cover slightly as your cranberries will start to burst!
Remove from heat and stir in butter and lemon juice; cool.
Punch down the dough and turn onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll in to a 10 x 20-inch rectangle. Spread the cranberry sauce out to 1/2-inch from edges. Starting at one of the shorter sides, tightly roll up dough, pinching edges as you go. With the seam facing down, use a sharp knife and carefully slice completely through the dough, lengthwise down the center, end to end.
Braid dough then carefully transfer to a lightly greased 10-inch loaf pan. It helped to have a second set of hands on this part!
Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 30-40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaf for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust with powdered sugar and top with fresh cranberries (optional), for a pop of color!