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This is in response to a request on the boards for an Amish fruit bread...this is the closest I found. It comes from an old community cookbook, the proceeds of which went towards the preservation of Hermann, Mo's German Heritage. Note that the fruit must be soaked over night and I haven't added that into the times here.
- 12 ounces mixed dried fruit
- 8 ounces dried apples
- 1 package dry yeast
- 1⁄4 cup lukewarm water (115° - 120°)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups lukewarm scalded milk (115° - 120°)
- 1 1⁄2 cups flour, unsifted
- 1⁄2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3⁄4 cup raisins
- 3⁄4 cup currants
- 1 cup nuts, chopped,if desired
- 7 cups flour, more as needed
- Cover mixed dried fruit and apples with boiling water in saucepan and soak overnight.
- Next morning, cook until fruit is quite soft, about 15 minutes, then drain well in a colander.
- Chop or cut up fruit.
- Soften yeast in lukewarm water, add 1 Tbsp sugar and let stand 10 minutes.
- Add milk.
- Add 1 ½ C flour to make a sponge and set aside until bubbles break on top.
- Cream butter in a large mixing bowl.
- Add 1 C sugar and cream well.
- Mix in beaten eggs.
- Add the sponge, chopped fruits, salt, cinnamon, raisins, currants and nuts.
- Beat in 3 cups flour.
- Divide dough into fourths.
- Take out ¼ of the dough and knead on a floured pastry cloth or board adding enough flour to keep the dough soft but not sticky.
- Continue doing this 3 more times until all the dough has been worked up, then knead it all together.
- Lightly oil a clean bowl, take dough and run the top around the inside of the bowl, place it in the bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.
- Knead lightly, divide into 4 portions and shape each into a loaf, place in greased loaf pans.
- Cover and let rise until double.
- Bake at 400° for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350° and bake 45 minutes longer or until done.