Klingers (sweet saffron bread)

1 envelope dry yeast, dissolved in ¼ cup lukewarm water
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. saffron (optional)
¾ cup lukewarm water
½ cup soft butter (or margarine)
½ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
¼ cup sour cream
½ tsp. salt
3 ¾ to 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ tsp. ground cardamom
1 ½ cups golden raisins, blanched and drained
¾ cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 tsp. grated lemon or orange rind
1 egg white mixed with 1 tbsp. water (for glaze)

1. Sprinkle the 1 tsp. sugar over the water/yeast mixture and let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Steep the strands of saffron in ¾ cup warm water.
3. In a large bowl beat together butter, sugar, and egg yolks.
4. Add to this the yeast mixture, the saffron liquid (strained) and about 2 cups flour that has been sifted with salt and cardamom.
5. Beat until smooth (about 2-3 minutes).
6. Add raisins, ½ cup almonds and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
7. Knead until smooth (about 5 minutes).
8. Turn into a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.
9. Punch down the dough and spill it onto a pastry sheet or counter and roll the dough between the hands until it is about 3 feet long.
On an oiled cookie sheet, form the roll into a pretzel shape. To keep the holes from closing, use 3 empty, oiled baby-food or frozen-juice cans and stand upright in the three openings of the pretzel. Cover and let rise until puffy. Brush with the egg white-water mixture and sprinkle remaining almonds on top. Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 F and bake 30 minutes, or until done. Cool. Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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