5 cups flour 1 tsp. salt 3 eggs, beaten + 1 egg white 4 Tbl. shortening, melted and cooled 1/2 cup milk 1 tsp. vanilla 3/4 cup raisins 1 1/2 cup sugar 2 Tbl. yeast powdered sugar
- Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Add a pinch of sugar to it and let it rise for 5 minutes.
- Mix dry ingredients. Add in raisins.
- Add in yeast mixture, vanilla, 3 beaten eggs and shortening. Mix and knead well.
- Let rise until double. Punch down and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Divide into 3 equal balls. Roll out each ball into a long tube shape and braid the 3 of them together. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until double.
- Brush top with egg white.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes. Let cool and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
(One time my mom made this for me for my birthday and dropped it off while it was still warm. I took the towel off the top and there were strings poked down into the top at regular intervals. I asked what the strings were for and found out that she had put birthday candles in the top and the warmth from the Hefenkranz had melted the skinny little candles into puddles and left the wicks hanging there!)