French Tea Ring

½ cup milk
3 tbsp. shortening or butter
½ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. sugar
½ cup water
1 egg
1 package of yeast

1 cup raisins
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch

Add the shortening to the milk. Heat them together in a microwave oven, or on the stove, until just before the milk boils. Allow the milk and shortening mixture to cool.

Combine the water, raisins and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Mix the cornstarch with 2 Tbsp. of water and add to the saucepan. Continue to boil until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Allow the mixture to cool.

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the milk and shortening mixture. Add the salt, sugar, water, egg and yeast. Mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, humid area. Let rise for about 15 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size.

Lightly flour a work surface. Place the dough in the center of the work surface and roll it out with a lightly floured rolling pin. Form the dough into a rectangle about 20 inches wide and 10 inches deep.

Spread the raisin mixture out evenly onto the center of the dough. Roll it up lengthwise, then form it into a ring. Pinch the dough together at the ends. Place the dough in a warm, humid area and allow it to rise again for about an hour, until it doubles in size.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Brush with butter if desired. Allow to cool, then frost or glaze as desired.

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