I am making this recipe for our family’s Christmas Brunch. There are instructions in Ms. Hensperger’s cookbook for baking a single large loaf or 2 smaller, freeform loaves. I am making the smaller and will only include those instructions in this post.
In a small bowl, I placed:
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup minced dried apricots (could also use orange confit)
2 tablespoons candied citron (could also use minced dried pineapple)
I tossed the dried and candied fruit with 2 tablespoons of flour and set it aside.
Into the bread machine went the following:
1 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 large egg yolks
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (could also use Fiori di Sicilia)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons vanilla sugar
2 teaspoons SAF yeast
The machine was programmed for the dough cycle and started. I then set a kitchen timer for 10 minutes. After the timer went off, I unplugged the machine and allowed the dough to rise for 1 hour and 15 minutes. While the dough was rising, I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper and prepared a lightly floured mat to work on. According to the cookbook, the dough should have risen until it was nearly to the top of the pan. It hadn’t, so I have it another 30 minutes of rising time before progressing to the next step.
After it had risen, I turned the dough ball out onto my floured mat and patted it into a large rectangle. I sprinkled the floured fruit of the dough and folded it over, kneading gently to distribute the fruit.
The next step was to divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and to form those pieces into 2 tight round balls. I placed the balls onto the parchment covered baking sheet 3 inches apart and using kitchen shear, but an “X” 1/2 inch deep into the top of each loaf.
I then covered the loaves loosely with plastic wrap and let rise another hour.
About 20 minutes before baking, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees.
When the loaves had sufficiently risen, I used the kitchen shears to “redefine” the X on each loaf. I then inserted a 1/2 tablespoon piece of butter into each cut. The loaves were then baked for 30 minutes.
These loaves have a golden brown crust and chewy interior. It was not too sweet, and the flavor was lovely.