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Easter Crown Bread


4-1/2 cups flour
1 cup warm milk
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 cup melted butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons honey


1. Stir together 1 cup of flour, milk and yeast. Sprinkle 1/2 cup flour on top and let sit for 15 minutes or until it starts to rise.
2. Mix in butter, eggs, sugar, salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, oil and remaining flour.
3. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until elastic. Use additional flour to keep dough from sticking if necessary.
4. Place dough in bowl and leave covered for 2 hours or until it doubles in size.
5. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Use a rolling pin and a little extra flour to roll one piece into a circle that fits bottom of greased 10-inch springform pan. Place in pan.
6. Divide other dough into three equal pieces. Roll into ropes about 2 feet long. Braid together and attach ends to form a circle. Place in pan so braid lays flat.
7. Cover and let rise for another 40 minutes.
8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
9. In large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, remaining vanilla and raisins. Pour into dough circle.
10. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake an additional 40 minutes or until crust is brown.
11. Let cool. Then brush crust with honey and serve.

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