We used to only have this bread at Christmas and Thanksgiving because it was so hard to make by hand. The hand-made bread is still admittedly better, still special, but this is a good version for regular use. I like my bread to be a little sweeter so I add about six packets of aspartame (Sweet 'N Low) to the recipe. (I know that might sound funny, but our family recipe calls for aspartame, and if you just add more sugar, the bread crust becomes really dark.) Don't use Nutrasweet; Nutrasweet doesn't hold up under high temperatures and therefore is not useful for baking.
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We used to only have this bread at Christmas and Thanksgiving because it was so hard to make...