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Pistachio Bread

1 package aactive dry yeast
granulated sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
3 - 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup shelled, salted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine the yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar and water in a large mixing
bowl, and allow to proof. Then add the milk, the softened butter,
the salt, and 1/2 cup sugar to the yeast mixture. Add the flour,
cup by cup, beating well after each addition. (This dough is easy
to handle but will be a little sticky at this stage.) Turn out on
a lightly floured board and knead for a good 10 minutes, or until
smooth and elastic. Form into a ball, place in a buttered bowl,
and turn to coat the surface with butter. Cover with plastic wrap
and set in a warm, draft-free spot to double in bulk.

Punch the dough down and turn out on a floured board. Let rest for
a few minutes, then roll into a rectangle about 18 x 12 inches.
Brush the surface with the melted butter and sprinkle with 1/3 cup
additional sugar and the coarsely chopped pistachio nuts. Beginning
with the long edge of the rectangle, roll up the dough like a jelly
roll, pressing each seam as you do so. Join the ends of the roll
and pinch together to form a ring.

Place the ring carefully on a buttered baking sheet. Slice two-thirds
of the way down into the ring, at 3/4 inch intervals. Twist each
slice to the right so that the interior of the slice is now facing
upwards. Let the ring rise in a warm, draft-free place until almost
doubled in size. Brush the entire surface with beaten egg, then
bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 - 35 minutes until nicely
browned. Cool on a rack before serving.


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