Holiday Bread

Makes 3 loaves

Combine yeast, water, and 1 tablespoon sugar; let stand 5 minutes to soften. Stir in remaining sugar, milk, eggs, butter, salt and cardamom. Add 3 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour to make stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board. Cover with dry cloth; let stand 8 to 10 minutes. Wash & grease bowl, set aside. Grease 3 round 8- to 9-" cake pans; set aside. Knead fruits/nuts into dough, adding flour as needed. Knead for 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl. Cover & let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (1½ hours). Turn out dough on lightly oiled surface; divide into thirds. Shape each into a round loaf; place seam-side down in prepared pans. Prepare Egg Glaze (1 egg, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons milk). Brush loaves with glaze. Let rise 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375°F. Again, brush with glaze; sprinkle sugar. Bake 25 to 30 minutes (until golden brown and sound hollow when tapped). Turn out of pans; cool on rack. Prepare Almond Icing (1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, ½ teaspoon almond extract). Spread on loaves.