1/1 Photo of A New England Holiday Bread With Olde World Roots
4 hrs 35 mins
All the Celtic countries, with which the legendary King Arthur was associated, have a colorful bread filled with fruits and spices, traditionally made to celebrate festivals and holidays. In Scotland it's called "Selkirk Bannock," in northern Wales "Bara Brith," in Ireland "Barm Brack," and across the channel in Brittany (or Little Britain) "Morlaix Brioche." It was a simple dough, sweetened and loaded with hard-to-get sweetmeats and spices which were saved for special occasions. Choose from the Celtic or New England versions. The long prep time is 95% rising time.
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- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast or 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
- 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (Traditional, whole grain)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, 4 ounces or a combination) or 1/2 cup vegetable oil (1 stick, 4 ounces or a combination)
- 1 tablespoon salt (or less if you choose)
- 4 -5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cups dried fruit (choose from either the Celtic or the New England version)
- 2/3 cup golden raisin (4 ounces)
- 2/3 cup currants (3 1/4 ounces)
- 2/3 cup citrus peel, chopped (4 ounces- orange, lemon, citron, etc.)
NEW ENGLAND VERSION
- 1MIXING THE DOUGH:
- 2Dissolve 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the water. Add and dissolve the yeast and dry milk.
- 3Stir in the whole wheat flour and spices.
- 4Cover and let this mixture work for 2 hours.
- 5PREPARING THE FRUIT:
- 6While the sponge bubbles away, melt the butter over very low heat.
- 7Remove it from the heat and add the balance of the sugar and the dried fruit of your choice.
- 8After 2 hours, blend this into the sponge.
- 9FINISHING AND KNEADING THE DOUGH:
- 10Add the salt and then the unbleached flour a cup at a time, mixing thoroughly until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- 11Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until it begins to feel as if it belongs together.
- 12Let it rest while you clean and grease your bowl.
- 13Continue kneading the relaxed dough until it feels smooth and springy.
- 15Form dough into a ball, place it in the greased bowl, turning it so the top is greased, cover and place it where it will be warm and cozy.
- 16Because this is a sweet dough, we are using double the amount of yeast.
- 17Even so, the rising period may take longer than usual, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- 18SHAPING and RISING:
- 19When you can poke your finger in the dough without it bouncing back, knock it down, turn it out onto your floured board, and knead out any stray bubbles.
- 20You can divide this dough in two pieces and bake it in two bread pans or bake it as two round free-form loaves.
- 21For a grander offering, bake it as one large round loaf. Place the shaped dough in lightly greased bread pans or on a baking sheet.
- 22Let the dough rise until almost doubled again.
- 24Fifteen minutes before you bake the bread, preheat your oven.
- 25Two loaves: Preheat to 350°F and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
- 26One large loaf: Preheat your oven to 400°F Bake for 1 hour, lowering the temperature 25°F after the first 15 minutes and every 15 minutes thereafter (your final baking temperature should be 325°F).
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Nutritional Facts for A New England Holiday Bread With Olde World Roots
Serving Size: 1 (2602 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 1
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 3423.4
- Calories from Fat 485
- Total Fat 53.9 g
- Saturated Fat 30.7 g
- Cholesterol 128.0 mg
- Sodium 4100.8 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 704.2 g
- Dietary Fiber 56.9 g
- Sugars 246.1 g
- Protein 71.4 g