Foods | Cooking
Hints & Tips
I created this bread because I wanted a
sweet bread that I could give to my favorite neighbors for Christmas. My husband
and I really like this bread, and we couldn't quit eating the first loaf.
Hopefully my neighbors liked it as much as we do.
Check out Linda's Bread Making Hints:
Secrets to using the bread machine,
About yeast in bread making,
Sourdough Starter, and
Sourdough Bread Recipes and
Quick Bread Recipe for all your bread making.
Christmas Fruit Bread
Brunch and Breakfast,
Yields: 1 large loaf
Prep time: 15 min
Rise time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 minutes
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F.)
eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons oil (olive oil, canola oil or vegetable oil)
3 tablespoons granulated
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon diastatic barley malt (optional)*
4 3/4 cups bread
3 teaspoons instant active dry
yeast (I use
SAF Instant Active Dry Yeast)
2 to 2 1/2 cups of mixed chopped nuts and either chopped dried fruit or candied fruit (I used chopped almonds, candied cherries,
candied citron, candied orange peel, and raisins)**
* Also called gluten flour,
instant gluten flour, pure gluten flour, and vital wheat gluten
depending on vendor and manufacturer. This is flour with the starch and bran
removed. Gluten is the natural protein in the wheat endosperm which, when
combined with water, forms a taffy-like dough. This retains the gas and steam
** To keep dried fruit and nuts from sticking together, put them in a small bowl
with approximately 2 teaspoons flour; stir to thoroughly combine.
Place all ingredients except nuts and dried/candied fruit in bread pan of your bread machine. Select dough setting and press start.
Check the dough (don't be afraid to open
the lid). It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too
moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the
dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time).
When dough cycle has finished, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly-floured surface. Knead the nuts and
dried/candied fruits into the dough. Form dough into an oval, cover with a cotton towel or plastic
wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
After resting, turn dough bottom side up and press to flatten. Shape dough into a loaf and place
on a baking sheet that has been coated with cooking spray or on a Silcone Baking Mat. Cover
with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled
(time can vary depending on room temperature). After rising, slash the bread with a very sharp knife making three 1/2-inch deep diagonal slashes.
Oven Rising: Sometimes I use my oven for the
rising. Turn the oven on for a minute or so, then turn it off again. This will
warm the oven and make it a great environment for rising bread. If you can't
comfortably press your hand against the inside of the oven door, the oven is too
hot. Let it stand open to cool a bit.
Cool or Refrigerator Rise: If I don't have the time
to wait for the rise to finish or I know that I will be interrupted before the
completed rise, I do a cool rise. A cool rise is when the dough is place in the
refrigerator and left to rise slowly over night approximately 8 to 12 hours. I
usually do this after the first rise and the dough has been shaped into a loaf.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. A good check is to use an instant
digital thermometer to test your bread. The temperature should be between 200 and 210 degrees. Remove from oven and cool on
a bread rack. Let baked loaf cool for 30 minutes before cutting (this is because the bread is still cooking while it is cooling).
is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers
asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the
Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. Originally designed for professional users, the
Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world. To learn more about this excellent
thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined:
While the baked bread is cooling, make the Sugar Glaze. Brush the Sugar Glaze over the slightly warm
bread. Let bread completely cool before slicing.
Makes 1 large loaf or 2 smaller loaves.
1 cup powdered (confectioners’ sugar)
4 tablespoons milk
In a small saucepan over low heat. Heat the sugar and milk until the sugar is dissolved and slight
thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Let cool slightly before brushing the Sugar Glaze on top of the loaf.