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Christmas Bread

3 cups Flour
1 envelope (7g Packet) Active Dry Yeast
1/4 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 cup Buttermilk
1/4 cups Shortening
1/4 cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1 whole Egg
2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
1 Tablespoon Red Sugar Crystals
1 Tablespoon Green Sugar Crystals
Powdered Sugar Icing


Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, the yeast, and baking soda. Heat buttermilk, shortening, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt till warm, stirring to melt the shortening. Add to the dry ingredients; add egg. Beat at low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make moderately stiff. Turn onto a floured board; knead 5 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Halve dough. Roll one half to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle. Spread with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with red sugar crystals. Fold in half to make a narrow rectangle. Cut into fourteen 1-inch strips. Twist each one; arrange on a greased baking sheet in a tree shape. Repeat with the remaining dough, butter and green sugar crystals. Let rise 1 hour. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 15 minutes; cool. Frost with powdered sugar icing, if desired.

Source: tastykitchen.com