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SWEDISH YULE KAKA (SWEDISH CHRISTMAS
BREAD)
 
1/2 c. warm (110 to 115 degrees) water
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1 1/2 c. lukewarm milk
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 c. soft shortening
Half of 7 to 7 1/2 c. flour
4 or 5 crushed cardamom seeds

Measure warm water into mixing bowl. Add yeast, stirring to dissolve. Stir in rest of ingredients. Mix with spoon until smooth. Add enough flour that remains, to handle easily; mix with hands. Turn onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Round up in a greased bowl, greased side up, cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm (85 degree) place until double, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down; let rise again until almost double, about 30 minutes. Divide dough for desired rolls and/or coffee cake.

SWEDISH TEA RINGS:

Divide above dough in half. Roll out each half into a 9x15 inch oblong. Spread with 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup nuts, on top of cinnamon/sugar. Now roll up tightly, beginning at wide end. Seal up well by pinching edges of roll together.

Stretch roll slightly to even. Then place seal edge down in a ring on a lightly greased baking sheet. Pinch ends together. Then with scissors, make cuts 2/3 way through the ring at 1-inch intervals. Turn each section on its side. Let rise, covered until double in bulk, 35 to 40 minutes. Bake until golden brown at 325 degrees or less for 25 to 30 minutes.

While slightly warm, frost with quick white icing. Tea rings can be decorated with candied cherries, pecans, almonds, etc.

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