4 (1)



Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Christmas breakfasts are meals of tradition in my family. Dinner, the rest of them pretty much let me play around however I want. But breakfast has to follow a certain script. Still, there are traditions, and then there are traditions. ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes, plus rising and cooling times | Makes 2 loaves of approximately 8 servings each


  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons each)
  • 5 1/2 cups (23 1/2 ounces) flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 ounces candied cherries and candied orange peel, combined
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup currants

Step 1In a saucepan over medium-high heat, scald the milk. Remove from heat and add the sugar and shortening. Cool to lukewarm. Add yeast and set aside for 5 minutes to activate the yeast. Stir in 3 cups flour, beat, then add the salt and eggs and beat again. Add cherries and orange peel, raisins and currants. Stir in the remaining flour.

Step 2On a lightly floured board, knead well until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap; set aside in a warm place until the dough is doubled. Punch the dough down and let double again.

Step 3Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Divide the dough in half and place each half in a greased 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan. Bake until browned on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack before icing.


  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter

Step 1In a small bowl, beat the milk with the powdered sugar until the frosting is thick enough to spread. Add the butter and continue to beat several minutes until very creamy. Spoon over top of cooled loaves and let dribble down the sides.


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