See Also: Breads · Christmas · Germany
From Dorothy McNett's Recipe Book at www.dorothymcnett.com as reprinted from "The Cooking of Germany", (c) 1969 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved. Library of Congress catalogue card number 69-17198."
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup dried currants
1 cup mixed candied citrus peel
1/4 cup candied angelica, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/2 cup candied cherries cut in half
1/2 cup rum
1/4 cup lukewarm water (110-115 degrees)
2 packages or cakes of dry or compressed yeast
3/4 cup plus a pinch of sugar, divided
6 teaspoons gluten, mixed into the flour
5 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon peel
2 eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch bits and softened
8 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
Combine the raisins,currants, candied citrus peel, angelica and cherries in a bowl. Pour the rum over them, tossing the fruit about to coat the pieces evenly. Soak for at least 1hour.
Pour the lukewarm water into a small bowl and sprinkle it with the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Let mixture stand for 2-3 minutes, then stir to dissolve the yeast completely. Set the bowl in a warm, draft free place for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture almost doubles in volume. Meanwhile, drain the fruit reserving the rum, and carefully pat the pieces completely dry with paper towels. Place the fruit in a bowl, sprinkle it with 2 tablespoons of the flour, and turn it about with a spoon until the flour is completely absorbed. Set aside.
In a heavy 1 1/2 to 2 quart saucepan, combine the milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar and the salt. Heat to 110 degrees, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Off the heat, stir in the reserved rum, almond extract and fresh lemon peel, and finally the yeast mixture.
Place 5 cups of the flour in a large bowl and with a fork stir in the yeast mixture, a cup or so at a time. Beat the eggs until frothy and stir them into the dough, then beat in the bits of softened butter. Gahter the dough into aball and place it on a board sprinkled with the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Knead the dough, by pushing it down with the heels of your hands,pressing it forward and folding it back on itself. Continue the kneading for about 15 minutes, or until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic. Flour your hands lightly from time to time. Now press the fruit and almonds into the dough, 1/3 cup at a time, but do not knead or handle it too much or the dough will discolor. Coat a deep bowl with 1 teaspoon of melted butter and drop in the dough. Brush the top of the dough with another 2 teaspoons of melted butter, drape a towel over the bowl and set in a warm draft free place for 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in bulk.
Punch the dough down and divide it into two equal pieces. You may divide it into three equal pieces for smaller loaves. Let rest for 10 minutes, then roll the pieces out into strips about 12 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 1/2 inch thick. Brush each strip with 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter and sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons of the remaining sugar. Fold each strip lengthwise in the following fashion: bring one long side over to the center of the strip and press the edge down lightly. Then fold the other long side across it, overlapping the seam down the center by about 1 inch. Press the edge gently to keep it in place. With lightly floured hands, taper the ends of the loaf slightly and pat the sides gently together to mound it in the center. The finished loaf should be about 3 1/2 to 4 inches wide and 13 inches long. With a pastry brush, and 1 tablespoon of melted butter, coat the bottom of an 11 by 17 inch jelly roll pan. Place the loaves on the pan and brush them with the remaining 2 tablespooms of melted butter. Set the loaves in a warm draft free place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then bake the bread in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and crusty. Transfer the loaves to wire racks to cool completely. Just before serving, sprinkle with the sifted confectioners sugar.
Recipe created 2001-05-18.
© 1996-2013 Dorothy McNett. All Rights Reserved.