Christmas Sweet Bread

Serves: 8
Total Calories: 459


1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 packages (5 teaspoons) active dry yeast or instant dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°F.)
2 large eggs
2 large eggs yolks
3/4 cup finely chopped candied citron
1/2 cup currants or raisins
3/4 cup finely chopped candied orange peel
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


1 In a small saucepan, heat the milk until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat. Add the sugar and butter and let stand, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has cooled to lukewarm.

2 In a large electric mixer bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 1 minute, then stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the milk mixture, eggs, and yolks and beat at low speed until blended. Stir in the citron, raisins, orange peel, and lemon zest. Add the flour and beat until a stiff dough forms, about 2 minutes.

3 Scrape the dough into a large buttered bowl and turn it once to grease the top. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

4 Grease a 9 × 4-inch springform pan. (If your pan is less than 4 inches deep, make a collar for the pan: Tear off a 3-foot length of aluminum foil, and fold it in half lengthwise. Grease one side of the foil, and wrap it around the outside of the pan, greased side in. The foil will be 6 inches high. Tie kitchen string around the pan to secure the foil.)

5 Press the dough down to eliminate air bubbles. Place the dough in the prepared pan, cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

6 Place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

7 With a sharp knife, slash a cross in the top of the dough. Bake 1 hour, or until the cake is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

8 Cool the cake in the pan on a rack 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack, then turn it right-side up onto another rack. Let cool completely. Store covered with an inverted bowl at room temperature up to 3 days.

From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 8
Total Calories: 459
Calories from Fat: 91

This Christmas Sweet Bread recipe is from the Cook'n in Italy Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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