This is an Italian fruit bread that is served for the holidays and I do it often. My husband used to take several loaves with him on his annual ice fishing trip with various acquaintances from work. They would eat it on the way to Rainy Lake in northern Minnesota. He cut the bread into thick slices and put butter or cream cheese on it. They named the bread Buddy Bread, as they shared a slice. Every year for more than ten years, they looked forward to their experience of sharing Buddy Bread.
For the size of a loaf and a half, use: three-quarters plus a tablespoon of room temperature water; two large eggs; half a teaspoon of vanilla extract; three tablespoons of butter or margarine; three and a half cups of bread flour; three tablespoons of sugar; a teaspoon and a quarter of salt; two teaspoons of active dry yeast or one and a half teaspoons of fast rising yeast from the bread machine; a third of a cup of grapes; a third of a cup of candied fruit mix; two tablespoons of blanched sliced almonds; a tablespoon of grated lemon peel.
For a two pound loaf size, use: one cup of room temperature water; two large eggs; a teaspoon of vanilla extract; three tablespoons of butter or margarine; four cups of bread flour, three tablespoons of sugar; a tablespoon and a half of salt; two and a quarter teaspoons of active dry yeast or two teaspoons of bread machine or quick yeast yeast; half a cup of raisins, half a cup of mixed candied fruits; three tablespoons of blanched sliced almonds; two tablespoons of grated lemon peel.
Select the basic, special or sweet bread setting cycle on your bread machine. Add the liquids to your skillet first and then the butter. Add all dry ingredients to loaf pan except yeast. Keep salt out of the middle of the pan. This is where you put the dry yeast. Punch the skillet to set the dry ingredients, then level the ingredients by pushing the mixture to the ends and sides of the skillet. Make a hole in the middle of the pan and add the dry yeast. Don’t add the raisins, dried fruit, and lemon zest just yet. Lock the pan in position.
Program the machine for the desired loaf setting and the desired loaf size and crust color setting. Press the start button. Add the fruit and nuts when the alert sounds during the kneading cycle. Before adding the fruit and nuts, sprinkle a little flour so they don’t stick.
When the machine has finished baking, remove the pan. I don’t take the bread out of the pan for at least half an hour. I let it cool in the pan on a wire rack. I have better luck removing after it cools down a bit. If not, poke holes at the bottom where the two paddles are.
This bread is great just with butter. You can also make a cream cheese dressing by adding a little honey to taste along with a small amount of chopped toasted walnuts. For an extra special topping, you can put a powdered sugar frosting or frosting. Mix a little powdered sugar with a small amount of water and a little salt. Thicken until you get the consistency you want and cover the bread with it. If you do this, you probably don’t want to toast the bread. It only gives you a little visual enhancement. This is an excellent sweet bread recipe.
I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as our family does.