3 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 package (1 tablespoon) yeast
3 3/4 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dairy eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
Coarse sugar or pearl sugar
10 candied cherries, halved
Combine yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and warm water. Let stand while measuring remaining ingredients.
Food processor method: Place dough blade in work bowl. Add flour, butter, salt, remaining sugar and nutmeg. Pulse. Stir together the eggnog with the extracts. Set aside. Turn machine on and pour the yeast in through the small feed tube. Without stopping the machine, pour in the eggnog mixture in a slow steady stream. Add the extra 2 tablespoons eggnog, if needed, to pull the dough together into a ball. Let ball revolve about 30 times in the work bowl to fully knead it.
Place dough in an oiled bowl or a plastic bag and set in a warm place to rise. NOTE: sweet, rich doughs often take longer to develop, perhaps 75 to 90 minutes to double.
Mixer or hand method: Put proofed yeast in a large bowl. Add eggnog, extracts and melted butter. Stir to combine. Add nutmeg and salt. Add half of the flour and beat for 2 minutes. Add half of remaining flour and beat again for 2 minutes. Empty remaining flour into the dough. Knead dough for about 8 minutes. Dough should be soft but not overly sticky. Set in warm place until doubled. See NOTE above.
Both methods: Spray smooth work surface with nonstick pan spray. Spray a large cookie sheet. Empty risen dough out onto sprayed area and shape into a roll about 22 to 24 inches long. Cut this roll in half, lengthwise. Starting in middle, working to both ends, lap the 2 long pieces over and over each other to form one long twisted rope shape. Lift rope onto cookie sheet. Shape rope into a round wreath, joining a top twist from one end to a bottom twist from the other end. Repeat with other 2 ends. Cover loosely with sprayed plastic wrap and set aside to double in size. Before dough finished doubling, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Whisk egg white and water together. When dough has doubled, brush with egg white mixture then sprinkle first with sliced almonds and then the coarse sugar. Stick halves of the candied cherries, firmly, around as you like. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool. Cover when cooled.
Serve with Eggnog Butter.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (DO NOT
USE SALTED BUTTER)
1/3 cup eggnog
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Beat all ingredients with a mixer until smooth and fluffy. Beat with mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Mound in a bowl and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.