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Fruit Bread Recipe & Video

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This enriched Fruit Bread has a beautiful golden brown crust with a wonderfully soft and tender crumb. It is lightly spiced with ground cinnamon and contains dried fruit (raisins, currants, and/or dried cranberries) and candied lemon and/or orange peel. While often served during the holidays, I like this bread year round. Eat it plain or buttered. Also very good toasted served with butter and maybe a slice of sharp cheddar cheese.

As far as ingredients go, we are using unbleached bread flour and unbleached all purpose flour. Bread flour has a higher protein content than All Purpose Flour which gives the bread a nice chewy texture. For the yeast, I like to use SAF Gold instant yeast #ad. This type of yeast gives a good rise and it doesn't need to be proofed. If using active dry yeast you will need to activate it before adding it to the batter. Do this by warming the milk in the recipe until lukewarm (about 100 degrees F or 38 degrees C). Stir in the yeast and set aside for about 5 to 10 minutes or until foamy and then add it to the batter along with the egg and butter. Sometimes it can be difficult to find candied peel so just substitute with more currants, raisins, dried cranberries and/or cherries. 

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Fruit Bread: In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, place the flours, yeast, sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine. Then add the milk, butter, and egg. Knead the dough on 1st speed for four minutes. Increase your mixer speed to 2nd speed and continue to knead the dough for about 4 to 6 minutes or until the dough is smooth, elastic, and not too sticky.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough once, so the top is lightly oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature (about 75 degrees F) (24 degrees C) until almost doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).

Meanwhile, place the dried fruit in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let sit about 10 to 15 minutes or until the fruit is soft. Drain and pat dry. Add the candied peel.

You will need a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 3 inch (21.5 x 11.5 x 10 cm) loaf pan. Lightly grease the pan with a flavorless oil or spray with a non stick vegetable spray.

When the dough has doubled in size, place on a lightly floured surface and form into a rectangle. Sprinkle the dried fruit and candied peel on the surface of the dough and lightly knead until the fruit is incorporated into the dough. Form the dough into a rectangle. Take the short edge of the rectangle and fold the dough lengthwise into thirds, like you're folding a letter. Make sure the edges of the dough are straight and even. (See video for demonstration.) Turn the dough over so the seam is now underneath. Then with the palms of your hands, gently roll the dough back and forth until it's the length of your loaf pan. Place the log of dough into your pan, seam side down. (The dough should fill the pan about half full.) Cover pan with plastic wrap that has been lightly oiled, or sprayed with a non stick vegetable spray, and let proof at room temperature for about 1 hour or until the dough rises almost to the rim of your loaf pan.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). 

Egg Wash: In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the cream.

When your bread is ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and, with a pastry brush, brush the top of the bread with the egg wash. Bake for about 30 - 35 minutes or until your bread is golden brown. About halfway through baking turn your pan front to back to promote even baking. If you tap the bottom of the bread it will sound hollow. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for a couple of minutes. (Using a probe thermometer the internal temperature of the bread should read about 195 F (91 C)). Then remove the bread from the pan, placing the bread top side up on a wire rack. Let cool completely before cutting. Well wrapped, the bread can be stored at room temperature about 3 to 4 days, or it can be frozen.

Makes one loaf.

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Fruit Bread:

1 1/3 cups (175 grams) unbleached all purpose flour

1 cup (130 grams) unbleached bread flour

1 3/4 teaspoons (5 grams) SAF Gold Instant Yeast Available on Amazon #ad (Can also use one - 1/4 ounce package (7 grams) active dry yeast. See head note for instructions)

2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated white sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) kosher salt

2/3 cup minus 1 tablespoon (150 ml/grams) milk, at room temperature

4 tablespoons (55 grams) unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg (50 grams), at room temperature

1 cup (150 grams) dried fruits (dark or golden raisins, currants, and/or dried cranberries or cherries)

2 tablespoons (25 grams) candied lemon or orange peel

Egg Wash:

1 large (17 grams) egg yolk, at room temperature

1 tablespoon cream or milk

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