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 Pike County Pecan Loaves Recipe
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Pike County Pecan Loaves

1 cup milk
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105-115F)
6 1/2 cups flour, divided
2 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup butter, melted and divided
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons brandy
2 teaspoons milk

Combine 1 c. milk, 3/4 c. butte and 1/2 c. sugar in medium saucepan; heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally. Cool to 105-115F. Combine yeast and warm water in a 1-cup liquid measuring cup; let stand for 5 minutes. Combine milk mixture and yeast mixture. Combine 3 c. flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add yeast mixture, beating at low speed of an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed until just blended after each addition.

Add lemon rind; beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Add remaining 3 1/2 cup flour, stirring until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. (Dough will be soft.) Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and chill dough at least 4 hours, up to 8 hours. Combine 1 cup chopped pecans, 1 cup sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Grease 8 (6x3x2 inch) loaf pans; set prepared pans aside. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. Divide dough in half. Prepare one portion of dough at a time, keeping remaining portion of dough wrapped and chilled until ready to use.

Roll first half of dough into a 20x10" rectangle; brush with 1/3 c. melted butter. Sprinkle with half of pecan mixture. Roll up dough jellyroll fashion, starting at long side. Press seam to seal. Cut roll into 4 equal pieces. Press ends of each loaf together to seal in filling. Place loaves in prepared pans, seam sides down. Repeat procedure with remaining half of dough, 1/3 c. melted butter, and remaining half of pecan mixture.

Brush loaves with remaining 1/3 cup of melted butter. Cover loosely and let rise in warm place (85F), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Preheat oven to 375F. Arrange pans on center rack of oven with at least 1 inch of space between pans. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Cover with foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks. Combine powdered sugar, brandy and 2 tsp. milk, stirring until smooth; drizzle mixture over loaves in a thick zig-zag pattern. Sprinkle 1 tbl. chopped pecans in a line down center of each loaf. Makes 8 loaves; good for gift giving.

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