1 active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
1 1/3 cups milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
5 1/4- 5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped black walnuts or walnuts
3/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Powdered Sugar Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside.
In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, granulated sugar and salt just until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F). Using a wooden spoon, stir milk mixture, egg and 2 cups of the flour into the yeast mixture until combined. Stir in walnuts and raisins. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (1 to 1-1/4 hours).
Punch dough down. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a very large baking sheet*. Roll dough out to a 12x10-inch rectangle. Cut dough crosswise into twelve (1-inch) strips. On the prepared baking sheet, twist and weave 5 of the strips together, pinching together the ends and tucking them under the braid. Twist and weave 4 more strips together and place atop the first layer. Braid the remaining 3 dough strips and place atop the first two. Brush the loaf lightly with oil. Use 4 wooden or metal skewers, pushing in from the top, to secure layers.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (30 to 45 minutes). Bake in 325 degree F oven 40 to 45 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped; remove skewers after bread is set. Cool bread on wire rack Drizzle with icing. Makes 1 loaf (24 servings).
In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing reaches drizzling consistency.
If your oven will not hold a very large baking sheet, shape loaf on a lightly floured surface. Carefully transfer to a greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Let loaf rise and bake as above.
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 191, Fat, total (g) 5, chol. (mg) 10, sat. fat (g) 1, carb. (g) 34, Monosaturated fat (g) 1, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 3, Trans fatty acid (g) 0, fiber (g) 1, sugar (g) 11, pro. (g) 5, vit. A (IU) 48.59, vit. C (mg) 0, Thiamin (mg) 0.25, Riboflavin (mg) 0.21, Niacin (mg) 1.78, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0.06, Folate (µg) 64.51, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 0.12, sodium (mg) 107, Potassium (mg) 115, calcium (mg) 30.29, iron (mg) 1.62, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet