St. Nicholas Bread
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried currants
1 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1 cup finely chopped mixed candied fruit
10-11 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 packages (¼ ounce each) active dry yeast
½ cup warm water (110º to 115º)
2 cups warm milk (110º to 115º)
1 cup sugar
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened, divided
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1-½ cups confectioners' sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
Place the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 cup of flour; toss and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add milk, sugar, ½ cup butter, eggs, salt, cardamom and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Blend in fruit mixture. Turn onto a floured board; cover and let rest 10 minutes. Knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-½ hours. Punch dough down. Divide into six pieces and shape into small round loaves; place in well-greased 13-oz. coffee cans. Brush tops with remaining butter. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-½ hours. Bake at 350º for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in cans 5 minutes before removing to wire racks; cool completely. For glaze, combine confectioners' sugar, vanilla and milk; drizzle over loaves. Decorate with candy sprinkles. Yield 6 loaves.
Recipe submitted by Christine.
Recipe featured in Bread Daily on 10/02/01.