Provided by: Woman's Day
total prep 411 calories/serving
This classic sweet Italian Christmas bread is baked in clean coffee cans. Since the bread pulls away from the sides of the can as it cools, it comes out very easily.
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup dried pitted cherries, preferably tart, or dried Zante currants
- 1/2 cup dried pitted dates, chopped
- 1/2 cup each red and green candied (glacé) cherries, cut in halves
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel
- 1/4 cup dark rum or apple juice
- 11/4 cups milk
- 2 packets active dry yeast (41/2 teaspoons)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine (not spread), softened
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 41/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Soak fruits and grated peel in rum while preparing dough.
- Lightly grease insides of three clean, 12-ounce coffee cans.
- Heat milk just until warm (105° to 115°F). Stir in yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Let stand 10 minutes or until foamy.
- Meanwhile beat butter, remaining sugar, the vanilla and salt in a large bowl with electric mixer until well blended and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time (mixture will look curdled).
- With mixer on low speed, beat in 2 cups flour until blended. Gradually beat in yeast mixture. Increase mixer speed to medium and continue beating 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add remaining flour and beat 3 minutes longer.
- Add fruit and rum mixture; stir until blended. Divide dough among cans. Cover with waxed paper and let rise in a warm draft-free place 11/4 hours or until doubled.
- Meanwhile place oven rack in lowest position. Heat oven to 375°F. Arrange cans on rack so they’re not touching.
- Bake 45 to 50 minutes until a pick inserted near center comes out clean and bread pulls away from sides of pans. If bread begins to darken too much, cover tops loosely with foil.
- Cool in cans on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert on rack, remove cans and cool completely. To serve, cut bread in wedges with a serrated knife.