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