This was my very first attempt at bread and has become a constant in our house. This is one of those things that just says "Christmas", but good any time of year. Freezes well. Our son became the 'official' butter maker when he was only 4. Great fun and wonderful memories. NOTE: Prep time does not include 3-1/2 hours of rising time.
- In a large bowl, dissolve 1 tsp sugar in warm water.
- Sprinkle in yeast and let stand 10 minutes then stir well.
- Add 1/2 cup sugar, butter, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat for 2 minutes.
- Add 2 more cups flour and eggs. Beat 3 minutes.
- Stir in remaining flour. You should have a soft dough. Knead for 8 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with greased paper and a towel.
- Let rise for 2 hours in a warm oven.
- Punch down. Knead in fruit and nuts. Shape into 2 balls.
- Place in greased 8” cake pans. Cover with a towel and let rise for 1-1/2 hours. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes at 350°.
- Remove from pans at once. Drizzle with glaze.
- Glaze: Mix sugar and water together. If too stiff, add more water by drops.
- Butter: In a glass jar, shake the whipping cream until butter forms. Drain and chill until ready to use.
Well, what drew me to this recipe was 'Sugar Plum' & I wasn't disappointed ~ This is a great 'bread!' I did, however, do a few things differently, since I used diced dried fruit instead of the candied kind, & I didn't shake up my own butter [got enough of that when I was a kid churning butter!]. Still, I like the idea of the homemade butter, & as soon as I can find a willing kid.... Anyway, the bread is extremely good & well worth making again & again! Thanks for this recipe!