Posted On January 4, 2007

Filed under Festive Recipes

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Ingredients >
1/3 c. warm water
1 packet of yeast
4 c. flour
1 c. sugar
8 eggs, beaten
¾ c. butter, room temperature
¼ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. anise seed
4 tsp. vanilla extract
A small figurine baby
Candied fruit (about 2 c. of assorted fruit cut into strips such as figs, orange, lemon, mango or cherries)
1 egg beaten (egg wash)
1/3 c. sugar (topping)

Method >
Sprinkle the yeast on the surface of the water and let it sit for 10 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast water, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, salt, cinnamon, anise seed and vanilla extract. Mix until a dough forms. Knead the dough for five minutes, then cover and let rise in a warm area until dough is doubled in size, about two hours.
Punch dough down and shape into a wreath. You can do this by simply rolling it into a log shape then bending the ends around to form a circle, or you can make three thinner strips and braid them, then put the ends together. The wreath should be about 12-14 inches in diameter. Lift up one area and insert the toy by pushing it up through the bottom. Smooth out any lumps.
Add the dried fruit by laying it across the top and pressing it in slightly. Let it rise until doubled. Brush top with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and bake for approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees.