makes 1 large coffee cake
6 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 to 3 drops yellow food coloring
1/2 cup chopped candied citron
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1 tablespoon chopped candied lemon peel
Glaze (recipe follows)
red and green candied cherries for garnish
Pecan halves for garnish
In large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of the flour, the yeast, sugar and salt; mix well in 2 quart saucepan, heat buttermilk, water, butter and yellow food color until warm (120-130 degrees). Butter does not need to melt. Add to flour mixture. Add eggs. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, gradually stir in citron, almonds, lemon peel and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured surface 5 to 8 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Cut off one third of dough; set aside. Divide remaining dough into 3 parts. On lightly floured surface, roll each third to a 25 inch rope. On greased baking sheet, loosely braid from center to ends. Shape into a circle; pinch ends to seal. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled. about 30 minutes. Divide remaining dough into 3 parts. Roll each third to a 16 inch rope. On greased baking sheet, loosely braid from center to ends. Shape into a circle; pinch ends to seal. Cover; let rise in warm place until almost doubled, 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes for large wreath and 20 to 25 minutes for small wreath, or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets; cool.
Make holes for 6 candles in small braid. Place small braid on large braid. Drizzle Glaze on braids. Garnish with cherries and nuts. Insert candles.
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons water
In small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and water; blend until smooth.