HUTZELBROT FRUIT AND NUT BREAD
This spicy, fruit studded holiday bread makes an interesting accompaniment to coffee or a dinner of roast pork through any of the dark days of winter.
1 CUP PITTED PRUNES
NOTE: If above ingredients are unavailable, use 2 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit
1/2 CUP RAISINS
CONFECTIONERS’ SUGAR, BLANCHED ALMOND HALVES, CANDIED CHERRIES (OPTIONAL)
If any of the dried fruit is hard, simmer it in water to cover about 10 minutes and let sit a half-hour. If it is reasonably soft this is not necessary. Drain well any of the fruit which you have cooked. Chop all the fruit (except
In a large mixing bowl combine the yeast, warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar or honey. Let sit until bubbling. Add 1 cup liquid (either that in which fruit is cooked, or juice): the liquid may be warm but not hot. Add the anise seed, cinnamon, salt, lemon peel, cloves, honey and melted butter.
Punch the dough down, turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead a few times and press the dough out into a large oval with your hands. Sprinkle the surface with some of the chopped fruit. Fold the dough in half and press out again into a large oval. Sprinkle with more fruit. Repeat this process until all the fruit has been incorporated. Don’t be surprised if the pressing becomes a bit harder each time.
Cut the dough in HALF with a sharp knife, cover with the towel and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. With your hands form each piece of dough into an oblong, something like a meatloaf. Place on buttered cookie sheets and brush the tops with melted butter (if you put them both on one sheet be sure there is room in all directions for expansion). Cover with a light cloth and let rise until not quite doubled.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake loaves 40 to 50 minutes, or until bottoms sound hollow when thumped. Cool on a rack.
When cool, glaze with an icing of confectioners’ sugar and milk, if you wish, and decorate with blanched almond halves and candied cherries.
The Garden Way Bread Book..A Baker’s Almanac
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Last updated September 25, 2004