2 cups dark raisins
3 tablespoons orange-flavored brandy
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups)
1 package Fleischmann’sÂ® Rapid Rise Yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup very warm water (125Âº to 130Âº degrees)
6 tablespoons softened butter or margarine
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
Melted butter, optional
Combine raisins and brandy in large bowl; stir occasionally.
In separate large bowl mix 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Stir in hot water and butter; blend well. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough.
Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Punch dough down. Slice off one-third of dough; roll on lightly floured surface to 12-inch circle; reserve. Remove about 1/3 cup dough from remaining two-thirds dough; set aside to decorate top.
Stir walnuts, orange peel, cinnamon and lemon peel into raisins.
Top with remaining two-thirds dough. Knead mixture into dough. Shape into 7-inch ball. Place ball in center of dough circle. Pull edge of dough circle up to completely enclose ball. Pleat dough and pinch together in center to seal. Flatten pleats to make an even surface. Place dough, seam side down, in greased 8-inch pie plate. Decorate top of dough.*
With skewer or long needle, pierce bun through to bottom all over to allow steam to escape. Bake at 350 degrees 1 1/2 hours. Cover with foil during last hour to prevent overbrowning. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack. Brush warm bread with melted butter, if desired.
Notes: *To Decorate Top: Divide reserved dough into 4 pieces. Roll 3 pieces into 10-inch ropes. Twist ropes to form “S” shapes. Place on top of bread, crossing in center. Roll remaining piece into 8 small balls. Arrange balls on bread.