This delicious fruited bread is wonderful served with cheddar cheese or simply toasted with sweet butter. The recipe makes two loaves.
Trivia:This fruit bread contains citron, a member of the Citrus genus. According to Wikipedia citron was used traditionally for medicinal purposes.
Fruited Bread Recipe
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
3 packages active dry yeast
8 to 9 cups of flour
2 cups of milk
1 cup of butter
2 cups of raisins (the Golden variety is best)
1 1/2 cups of orange peel, candied and chopped into fine pieces
1 1/2 cups of citron, also candied
1 tablespoon of flour
1 egg yolk
1 cup of icing sugar
1 or 2 tablespoons of water
Mix together the sugar, salt, yeast and two cups of flour. You will need a large mixing bowl for this recipe.
Place a pan over low heat. Pour in the milk and butter and heat this mixture until quite warm. I suggest you use a good mixer like the one shown above. Turn the mixer to a low speed and beat the liquid into the dry ingredients. When mixed, continue beating for an additional two minutes. Next, add the eggs and two cups of flour. Continue beating for yet another two minutes.
Take a spoon and stir in approximately four cups additional flour. Make a soft dough.
Lightly flour a kneading board and turn the dough onto this board. Knead this for approximately ten minutes, then shape into a ball.
Brush some oil over the top, cover and allow to rise until the dough doubles. This takes about two hours, usually. When doubled, punch it down. Divide it into six pieces. Cover these pieces and leave for about one quarter of an hour.
Meanwhile, mix together the raisins, orange peel and citron and toss this with flour.
Return to the six dough pieces and using a rolling pin, roll them out into strips of about 12 inches long by 4 inches wide.
Meanwhile, spread the fruit mixture evenly on each strip of dough. Lightly beat the egg yolk and brush this yolk over the edges. Fold the edges over the fruit and tuck the edges into each other. You have six rolls of dough now.
Spray a baking sheet. Take three rolls of dough and braid them, tucking the ends under. Braid the other three rols. Place a damp cloth over the two loaves and allow to rise for about an hour.
Turn the oven on to 350° and let heat. Bake the loaves until they sound hollow, which usually takes about thirty-five minutes.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Take a small container and mix the icing sugar and water to form a thin glaze. Brush this over the two braided loaves and serve.
This fruited bread is good in the spring around Easter -- or at any other time of the year.