Carrot Tzimmes Sweet Braid
Makes three loaves.
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons rapid-rise yeast
1 cup carrot puree *
1/4 cup canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5-6 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup butter or unsalted margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins Finishing Touches
1 beaten egg, Sugar, cinnamon
Puree a few carrots, about 4 medium until tender, mash or puree and set aside. Spray three 8 by 4 inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray. Set on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
In a mixer bowl, hand whisk the water and yeast together and let stand 2-3 minutes to dissolve the yeast. Briskly whisk in the carrot puree, oil, sugar, egg, and the salt and blend. Add in 4 cups of the bread flour and mix. Attach the dough hook and knead, on the lowest speed of the mixer 8 -10 minutes, adding in more flour as necessary to make a soft but elastic dough. Remove the dough hook and spray dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the entire mixer and bowl with a large, clear, plastic bag and let rise about 30 minutes or until almost doubled.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, blend the butter or unsalted margarine, brown sugar and spices together. Have the raisins and walnuts nearby. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate the dough. Divide in three portions. Press each into an oval or circle about 10 inches in diameter. Scatter on some of the brown sugar mixture over the surface of each piece and then scatter on some pecans and currants over each.
Roll out each portion into a snug jellyroll. Place each in a prepared loaf pan. Place on the baking sheet and cover the entire sheet with a large, clear plastic bag. Let dough rise 45-60 minutes or until almost doubled in bulk. Brush each loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Bake on the lower rack of the oven, 30-35 minutes until slightly browned on top.
Carrots are traditional at Rosh Hashanah and symbolize good luck for the new year. But these carrots get modernized in a sweet loaf that does double duty as an alternate to a sweet honey New Year's Challah or served as a dessert cake on your holiday table.