Holiday Fruit Bread

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These lovely loaves are shaped like stollen, the traditional German holiday bread. But it’s a quick bread, not a yeasted one as stollen is, so you can make it in just a fraction of the time. If you’d rather not use the port to soak the fruit, simply use apple, orange or apricot juice.

  • servingServings

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs. grated lemon peel
  • Milk for glaze
  • 3 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped prunes
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups ruby port
  • Fine yellow cornmeal for dusting
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Preparation

  1. In shallow bowl, combine raisins, dates, prunes and enough port to just cover. Let stand 30 to 60 minutes. Lightly oil large baking sheet and dust with cornmeal; set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Cut butter into dry ingredients with a pastry blender or rub it in with your fingers until mixture resembles fine crumbs; set aside. In small bowl, whisk egg then whisk in buttermilk, vanilla and lemon peel.
  3. Drain fruit; discard port. Add fruit to flour mixture and toss well. Make a well in flour mixture, add buttermilk mixture and stir briskly with wooden spoon just until dough pulls together in a mass. Let stand 3 minutes.
  4. Lightly dust work surface and hands with flour. Turn dough out onto surface and divide in half. Knead each half 30 seconds then pat into 1-inch-thick circles. Brush off any flour on dough, then fold each circle in half (but not perfectly, the top should be set back from bottom by about 1 inch.) Lightly brush loaves with milk and sprinkle generously with sugar (about 1/2 tablespoon). Transfer loaves to baking sheet.
  5. Bake 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue baking until loaves are golden brown and crusty, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer loaves to wire rack and cool completely before slicing. To store, wrap cooled loaves in foil and refrigerate.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 124
  • Carbohydrate Content: 25 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 10 mg
  • Fat Content: 2 g
  • Fiber Content: 1 g
  • Protein Content: 3 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 1 g
  • Sodium Content: 156 mg