I don't bake a lot of bread. Particularly yeast breads. Don't have the patience, don't have the time. But when you're snow bound, suddenly you have oodles of time. Here's what the recipe tells you to do:
To make the bread, start by using a large, flat mixing bowl. (I used a large, flattish bottomed wooden salad bowl) In this bowl, put:
5 c. white flour
1 T. cardamom
2 c. candied fruit and citrus
1 - 1 1/2 c. raisins.
Mix these dry ingredients until blended. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Set aside.
In a Pyrex measuring cup, combine the following:
2 c. milk, scalded (I figured out this pretty much means heated)
1 c. sugar, dissolved in the scalded milk
1 c. butter (I used unsalted), melted in the scalded milk
Let the mixture cool to lukewarm. Pour a little over:
1 T. active dry yeast
Stir to dissolve. It may begin to bubble a bit; that's OK. (I'm not sure my yeast actually dissolved all that well. I stirred and stirred, and when I got bored of stirring (as noted, no patience) I stopped.) When smooth, add the dissolved yeast mixture into the main milk/sugar/butter mixture. Then add the whole kit and caboodle into the flour mixture, and begin to combine all to make a soft dough. You'll probably add another cup or so of flour, but your goal is to knead this all together to create a soft, pliable dough that doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl. If your bowl is too small, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead further.
When well but not over-kneaded, place in the buttered bowl, turn it over once so the oiled side is up. Place a cotton dish towel over the top, and place the bowl in the pre-heated oven. It shouldn't be too hot; just warm enough for a good, protected rise. Let it do its work for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Punch down and knead again. This time, you can separate the dough however you like; 2 loaves, 2 rounds, or 4 smaller loaves and 1 small round. Do whatever blows your hair back. (Can I just say this is one of the best directions I've read in a recipe...'whatever blows your hair back'. Brilliant! For the record, I made two small loaves.) Cover with a dish towel again and let it rise once more for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. You may have to do a brief second pre-heat on the oven for rise #2 to keep it nicely warm.
Once risen, bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. I generally put a piece of foil over the tops after about 25 minutes as otherwise I feel it gets too dark. (I would agree - I 'foiled' mine and they came out pleasantly but not overly dark.
Now. About that potato salad. I haven't actually made potato salad for several months. It's just that I forgot to include a post about it back in the Summer, and because I plan to print/bind all of my 'my sunday dinner' posts at the end of the year so I can have a quasi-recipe/memory book on the shelf, I don't want to forget the potato salad. Because it was very, very good. It's a Julia Child recipe that you can find here through Epicurious.
This was seriously good potato salad, which is why I don't want to lose track of the recipe. If you want to eat it with some Julecake, by all means...
Julia's American Style Potato Salad