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Swiss Almond Fruit Loaves

Ingredients

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup diced mixed candied fruits
  • 2 tablespoons egg white, slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar*

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle yeast over water in large bowl of electric mixer. Let stand about 5 minutes.
  2. Add milk, butter, sugar, salt and mace; stir until butter melts.
  3. Add 3 cups of the flour. Mix to blend, then beat until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes).
  4. Beat in egg. Stir in about 1 cup more of the flour to make a soft dough.
  5. Mix in raisins, almonds and fruits.
  6. Turn dough out on a board or pastry cloth coated with some of the remaining 1/2 to 1 cup flour; knead until dough is smooth and springy, and small bubbles form just under the surface (15 to 20 minutes).
  7. Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).
  8. Punch dough down. Turn out on a floured surface and knead lightly to expel air bubbles. Divide into 2 equal parts.
  9. Shape each half of the dough into a loaf. Place in generously greased 4 1/2 x 8 1/2-inch loaf pans.
  10. Let rise until dough just reaches tops of pans (30 to 45 minutes).
  11. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  12. Brush tops of loaves lightly with beaten egg white. Sprinkle evenly with vanilla sugar.
  13. Bake until loaves are well browned and sound hollow when tapped (30 to 35 minutes).
  14. Carefully remove from pans and let cool on wire racks.

* For vanilla sugar, embed half a vanilla bean in a covered jar filled with 3 to 4 cups sugar for at least 24 hours. Replenish sugar as needed.

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