German Fruit and Nut Bread Hutzelbrot

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READY IN: 1hr 20mins
SERVES: 12
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • NOTE:* If above ingredients* (prunes, peaches, pears and figs)* are unavailable, use 2 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit If any of the dried fruit is hard, simmer it in water to cover about 10 minutes and let sit a half-hour.
  • If it is reasonably soft this is not necessary.
  • Drain well any of the fruit which you have cooked.
  • Chop all the fruit (except raisins) and toss fruit, including raisins with 1/4 cup flour.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the yeast, warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar or honey.
  • Let sit until bubbling.
  • Add 1 cup liquid (either that in which fruit is cooked, or juice): the liquid may be warm but not hot.
  • Add the anise seed, cinnamon, salt, lemon peel, cloves, honey and melted butter.
  • Beat well to mix.
  • Add 2 1/2 cups the flour and beat at least 200 strokes by hand or 2 minutes with an electric mixer.
  • Stir in the nuts.
  • Gradually add more flour until the dough holds together and leaves the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn it out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour as necessary but trying to keep a soft dough.
  • Put the dough into a buttered bowl, turn to coat all sides or brush the top with melted butter.
  • Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled in bulk.
  • Punch the dough down, turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead a few times and press the dough out into a large oval with your hands.
  • Sprinkle the surface with some of the chopped fruit.
  • Fold the dough in half and press out again into a large oval.
  • Sprinkle with more fruit.
  • Repeat this process until all the fruit has been incorporated.
  • Don’t be surprised if the pressing becomes a bit harder each time.
  • Ignore any flour that is left in the bottom of the fruit bowl.
  • Cut the dough in HALF with a sharp knife, cover with the towel and let rest 10 to 15 minutes.
  • With your hands form each piece of dough into an oblong, something like a meatloaf.
  • Place on buttered cookie sheets and brush the tops with melted butter (if you put them both on one sheet be sure there is room in all directions for expansion).
  • Cover with a light cloth and let rise until not quite doubled.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Bake loaves 40 to 50 minutes, or until bottoms sound hollow when thumped.
  • Cool on a rack.
  • When cool, glaze with an icing of confectioners’ sugar and milk, if you wish, and decorate with blanched almond halves and candied cherries.
  • The Garden Way Bread Book.
  • A Baker’s Almanac.
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