Katie had to make a choice of baking in December... not an easy one. You can go either intricate and daring or equally delicious and deceivingly daring. Which Katie did.
She made us bake this wonderful sweet loaf of bread, filled with dried fruits and flavored with a little cinnamon and mace.
She even provided for a Christmas Martha moment when we had to braid: first a 4-strand braid, topped with a 3-strand braid, topped and finished with a twisted rope... and then my whole thing slip-slided away during oventime! Never mind, it looked as good as it tasted. Although when I read through my fellow Baking Babes posts I suddenly saw I had to drizzle and finish the bread with a glaze and chopped walnuts... Ai! Go and check my fellow Babes results -and better pictures- in the right hand side column!
My changes to the recipe were to substitute the candied cherries for cranberries, and adding a small amount of cedro/candied citron, "sukade" in Dutch, which I happen to like in these kinds of bread (and "oliebollen") and my children hate. Not enough to attack the bread as if there was no tomorrow... See, they asked if there was any cedro in it and I chose not to listen so they just ate.
That does the trick. Sometimes.
Furthermore I added quite a bit of flour to the dough which in retrospect maybe I shouldn't have done, I feel the crumb could have been more fluffy. All in all I really liked the subtle flavours in this one, it behaved very good toasted as well. Thanks Katie, another good one to our list!
No-one, certainly not us, would frown upon you for just braiding a nice fat 3-strand and bake as such. We're all for fun, it's about the aroma of a fresh baked loaf and enjoying the goodies! So go ahead and bake yourself and your family this nice Viennese Striesel, mention it at Thyme for Cooking and get your Buddy Badge in the mail.