Dried Fruit & Nut Bread

Fruit and Nut Bread

 

Dried Fruit & Nut Bread

Prep Time: 24 hours

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 24 hours

Yield: 2 9X5 Loaves

Serving Size: That’s up to you!

Like a fine wine this delicious bread only improves with age. It also makes a sinful french toast, if it lasts that long!

Ingredients

  • Brioche Dough
  • For Starter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (1/4 oz pkg)
  • 1/2 c SIFTED all purpose flour (Even though most flours are “pre-sifted” in this recipe this is a necessary step)
  • 1 1/2 sticks salted butter- softened & cut into pieces
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 T hot water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 c SIFTED all purpose flour
  • Dried Fruit Mixture
  • 2/3 c dried currents
  • 1/2 c coarsely dried dried figs
  • 1/2 c chopped dried prunes
  • 1/2 c coarsely chopped dried pears
  • 2 c boiling water
  • 1 c coarsely chopped glaceed orange peel
  • 2/3 c Meyers dark rum
  • 1/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1 c chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 recipe brioche dough
  • For Glaze
  • Reserved rum syrup from macerating fruit
  • 1/4 c granulated suger
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • For Frosting
  • 1 1/2 c confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 -4 Tbsp hot water
  • Fresh lemon juice or dark rum to taste

Instructions

    Make Started:
  1. In a small bowl stir together sugar and warm water. Sprinkle yeast over mixture, cover mixture with plastic wrap and let stand 10 minutes, or until foamy (this step assures you the yeast is “alive)
  2. Stir SIFTED flour into yeast mixture, it will form a soft dough, with a knife cut a deep X across the top (this will serve as a measure of how much the dough rises)
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let starter rise at room temperature for about 1 hour
  4. In a small bowl combine salt, sugar and hot water; stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  5. Sift flour and set aside
  6. Fit a standing electric mixer with paddle attachment.
  7. In a bowl of mixer beat 2 eggs at medium speed until fluffy. Add sugar/salt mixture and beat until combined well. With motor running, add in order, and beating after each addition: 1/2 c flour, remaining egg, 1/2 cup flour, about 1/4th of butter, and remaining 1/2 c flour.
  8. Beat this mixture 1 minute
  9. Remove bowl from mixer and fit mixer with dough-hook.
  10. With rubber spatula spread starter onto dough and return bowl to mixer.
  11. Beat dough at medium-high speed for 6 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.
  12. Add remaining butter and beat 2 minutes, or until butter is completely incorporated.
  13. Lightly butter a large bowl and with a rubber spatula scrape dough into bowl. Lightly dust dough with flour to prevent a crust from forming on top dough.
  14. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until more than double in size.
  15. With floured fist, punch down dough to release carbon dioxide, lightly dust with flour and tightly cover with plastic wrap.
  16. Refrigerate overnight.
  17. Make Fruit MIxture
  18. In a small heatproof bowl combine currents, figs, prunes and pears.
  19. Pour boiling hot water over mixture and let stand about 10 minutes until very soft
  20. Once fruit has softened drain well and place strained fruit in a bowl, add glaceed orange peel and dark rum, cover and allow mixture to macerate at room temperatur for at least 12 hours
  21. Preparing for Baking Bread
  22. Lightly butter a 9X5 loaf pan.
  23. Line a baking sheet with parchment - set aside
  24. Strain dried fruit mixture reserving syrupy rum mixture for glazing breads halfway through baking.
  25. To fruit mixture add remaining ingredients ( chopped toasted walnuts, flour, granulated sugar, lemon zest,cinnamon and nutmeg, incorporate well and set aside)
  26. Turn broiche dough out ont a lightly floured board, flatten out dough.
  27. With floured hands, add dried fruit mixture 1/2 cup at a time, to dough, kneading and adding additional flour as necessary to prevent dough from sticking, until all fruit & nuts have been incorporated (dough will be very sticky and loaded with fruit)
  28. With floured hands, shape dough into a 9-inch log log and transfer to buttered pan.
  29. With baking spray generously spray one side of a sheet of plastic wrap and place sprayed side down on top of dough (this prevents wrap from sticking to dough and deflating dough when removed). Allow dough to rise at room temperature for about 3 hours (because of the amount of fruit in the dough it will not completely double in bulk)
  30. When dough is almost finished rising, preheat oven to 375
  31. Make Glaze
  32. In a small saucepan simmer reserved rum macerated liquid, sugar and water , stirring 1 minute
  33. Bake bread in middle of oven 25 minutes. Brush bread with all of glaze and bake 15 - 20 minutes more, or until golden brown. (Bread will brown quickly because of the sugar content in glaze)
  34. Place bread on on cooling rack for about 20 minutes, remove from pan and allow to continue to cool while preparing frosting.
  35. Frosting
  36. In a small bowl stir together confectioner’s sugar, hot water, and lemon juice or rum until well combined.
  37. Transfer frosting to a small baggy; cut a very small portion of one of the baggy’s corners and drizzle frosting over loaf.

Notes

The dried fruits are open to your own personal preferences. Dried cranberries, blueberries, apricots are also a delicious combination. You may also change or omit the nuts. I am a huge fan of dark rum in baked goods but cream sherry or another cordial of choice would definitely personalize this work of art.

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