Pane di Frutta (Easter fruit bread)
Ever since I was little, my mother would make this bread the day before Easter. It's delicious-sweet but not TOO sweet, with delicious little golden raisins and blanched almonds in the mix. It's normally supposed to be baked in a bundt pan, but since I couldn't find my bundt pan (in my ridiculously small German kitchen, I might add) I improvised and baked the bread in my springform pan. It turned out just fine, but definitely utilize a bundt pan if you have one in your kitchen. Again, sorry I'm posting this recipe after Easter, I simply didn't have a chance to post it beforehand.
5 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 T grated lemon peel
1 1/2 T grated orange peel
2 pkg active dry yeast
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
1 stick butter
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup golden raisins
1. In a large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups of flour, the sugar, salt, cardamom, orange peel, lemon peel, and yeast together. Set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter and water together until very warm, but not boiling. Add to dry ingredients, and beat with a mixer for two minutes. Add the eggs, plus 1 cup of flour. Beat for two more minutes.
3. Continue to add the remaining cups of flour, beating with mixer after each addition. The flour should make the dough stiff enough to knead. Once all the flour has been added, knead the dough for 8-10 minutes on a floured board.
4. Put the dough in a well-buttered bowl, lightly butter the top of the dough, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 1/2 hours.
5. Punch the dough back down onto the board, and knead in the almonds and raisins. Bake for 40 minutes at 375 degree oven. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.