Yields 2 Loaves
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup dried cherries or apricots
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
1-2 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel
1/3 cup rum (brandy or orange juice will work)
Sweet Bread Dough
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon Instant Yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
4 eggs (3 for recipe plus 1 for the egg wash)
Almond Paste Filling
7 ounces of almond paste
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Rum and Butter Bath
1/2 cup of butter melted
1/2 cup rum
1 cup powdered sugar
Wax or parchment paper
- In a small bowl combine dried fruit, almonds and orange zest with rum. Mix together until fruit and nuts are coated in rum. Set aside.
- In mixer with a dough hook, combine the flour, yeast, salt, spices and softened butter. Mix on slow speed for 4 minutes.
- In a separate bowl whisk together warm milk and honey, until honey is melted. Add 3 eggs, whisking in one at a time.
- With mixer on slow speed slowly combine wet ingredients with the flour mixture. Mix on a higher speed for 4 to 5 minutes until ingredients are incorporated. Dough should be supple and bind together and not cling to the side of the bowl. Add the fruit and rum mixture. Mix on slow speed for 1 minute until incorporated. Put dough onto a flour dusted countertop or silicon mat and carefully fold a few times until all the nuts and fruit are incorporated. Dough may be slightly sticky. Place dough in a flour-dusted large bowl and cover. Let dough rest at room temperature for 2 hours (dough can be refrigerated for 2 days until you are ready to bake the bread).
- While dough is proofing, mix almond paste with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Set aside.
- Sprinkle flour onto a silicon mat. Divide dough into two halves (about 850 grams each). Carefully press each piece of dough into a flat disc. With a rolling pin gently roll the dough into a 8 x 10 inch rectangle.
- Spread almond-butter mixture evenly on top, 1/4 inch from the edges. Fold the long side of dough toward the center, pressing down the edges into its center. Fold the remaining side over the first fold, gently pinching the edges to seal the seam. Tuck in the ends. With your hands gently roll the loaf to even out the sides of the dough.
- Place dough, seam down, on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a towel and let proof in a warm area for 45 minutes, careful not to overproof.
- While dough is proofing, heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Just before baking, wash tops of the bread with the remaining egg.
- Cover the top of the dough with foil to prevent browning and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until done. Cool on wire rack.
- Mix melted butter and rum in a shallow pan. Roll the baked bread in the bath of rum and butter, coating thoroughly. Don’t be shy. When finished sift powdered sugar over the top of the bread.
- Wrap bread individually in at least two layers of wax or parchment paper to keep it fresh.
- Tie loaf with a bow and gift.