Yummy Christmas Bread

December 13, 2006 - 4:11 pm Comments Off on Yummy Christmas Bread


2 cup liquid sourdough culture
4 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup citron
1 lemon zest, grated
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground
1/2 teaspoon cardamom, ground
1/2 cup rum or bourbon
1 tube marzipan or almond paste
1 stick melted butter
confectioners’ sugar, as needed

1. Soak the dried fruit overnight in rum or bourbon.

2. Mix the liquid culture with 1 cup of the flour and 1/4 cup of the water in a large mixing bowl. This is the working culture. Let double. (Carl’s starter – about 2.5 hours.)

3. Add 1 cup of the flour and the remaining 1/4 cup water. Allow to double. (Carl’s starter – about 2.5 hours.)

4. Punch down. Drain the fruit. Mix together the milk, butter, salt, fruit, lemon zest, and spices. Add to the dough and mix well. Reserve one cup of the flour for flouring the board. Knead the remaining 1 3/4 cups of the flour into the dough one cup at a time. Make a stiff dough.

5. Form oblong rectangles with the dough. Divide marzipan in half, then roll each half into a snake as long as the dough. Press snakes flat to make ribbons. Place ribbons in the center of the dough. If there’s marzipan left over, make small chunks and scatter through the dough. Fold sides of the dough together and pinch shut – that’s the bottom of the loaf. Brush loaves with melted butter and set to rise.

6. Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when thumping the underside.

7. While cooling, brush on melted butter several times, allowing it to absorb. When cool, you may sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.

Makes two 2.5 pound loaves.

(I can give you a starter if you need. This bread is totally worth it. Hub and I can’t stop eating it.)

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