German Fruit and Nut Bread Hutzelbrot

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This spicy, fruit studded holiday bread makes an interesting accompaniment to coffee or a dinner of roast pork through any of the dark days of winter.

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Ingredients [?]

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  • add   confectioners' sugar (optional)
  • add   1 cup dried peaches or dried pear halves or dried apricots
  • add   5 cups unbleached white flour
  • add   blanched almond halves (optional)
  • add   candied cherries (optional)
  • add   1/2 cup raisins
  • add   1 teaspoon anise seeds
  • add   1 teaspoon grated lemons, rind of or orange rind
  • add   1/2 cup melted butter
  • add   1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • add   1 cup broth, from cooking fruit or fruit juice (such as orange, pineapple, or apricot nectar)
  • add   1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • add   1/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • add   1 1/2 tablespoons dry yeast
  • add   1 cup pitted prunes
  • add   1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • add   1/2 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • add   1/2 cup warm water
  • add   1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • add   1/4 cup honey
  • add   1/2 cup dried figs
  • add   1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. NOTE:* If above ingredients* (prunes, peaches, pears and figs)* are unavailable, use 2 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit If any of the dried fruit is hard, simmer it in water to cover about 10 minutes and let sit a half-hour.
  2. If it is reasonably soft this is not necessary.
  3. Drain well any of the fruit which you have cooked.
  4. Chop all the fruit (except raisins) and toss fruit, including raisins with 1/4 cup flour.
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine the yeast, warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar or honey.
  6. Let sit until bubbling.
  7. Add 1 cup liquid (either that in which fruit is cooked, or juice): the liquid may be warm but not hot.
  8. Add the anise seed, cinnamon, salt, lemon peel, cloves, honey and melted butter.
  9. Beat well to mix.
  10. Add 2 1/2 cups the flour and beat at least 200 strokes by hand or 2 minutes with an electric mixer.
  11. Stir in the nuts.
  12. Gradually add more flour until the dough holds together and leaves the sides of the bowl.
  13. Turn it out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour as necessary but trying to keep a soft dough.
  14. Put the dough into a buttered bowl, turn to coat all sides or brush the top with melted butter.
  15. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled in bulk.
  16. Punch the dough down, turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead a few times and press the dough out into a large oval with your hands.
  17. Sprinkle the surface with some of the chopped fruit.
  18. Fold the dough in half and press out again into a large oval.
  19. Sprinkle with more fruit.
  20. Repeat this process until all the fruit has been incorporated.
  21. Don’t be surprised if the pressing becomes a bit harder each time.
  22. Ignore any flour that is left in the bottom of the fruit bowl.
  23. Cut the dough in HALF with a sharp knife, cover with the towel and let rest 10 to 15 minutes.
  24. With your hands form each piece of dough into an oblong, something like a meatloaf.
  25. Place on buttered cookie sheets and brush the tops with melted butter (if you put them both on one sheet be sure there is room in all directions for expansion).
  26. Cover with a light cloth and let rise until not quite doubled.
  27. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  28. Bake loaves 40 to 50 minutes, or until bottoms sound hollow when thumped.
  29. Cool on a rack.
  30. When cool, glaze with an icing of confectioners’ sugar and milk, if you wish, and decorate with blanched almond halves and candied cherries.
  31. The Garden Way Bread Book.
  32. A Baker’s Almanac.
mary young

WrittenWell Written

mary young 15:05, 04 Dec 2015

I have had great success with our family recipe for Hutzelbrot in the past but I completely blew it this time so I googled it and came up with lots of information including yours. My grandfather did not like pears so my grandmother used figs instead. She also used caraway, anise, fennel. I like to grind them up in my coffee grinder. Indeed it is a Bravarian Holiday Bread as my ancestors came from Munich and the surrounding area in 1850 and settled in Ohio. So I picked your recipe as the best so I have enough fruit left over. I think that is brilliant to use a box of dried fruit! The best of the dried fruit world. I like to bake it in those little disposable loaf pans and give it out as gifts. It freezes very well and as you said the best toasted with cream cheese.

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