All Easy Recipes. Cook all that you can cook. Candied Fruit And Nut Bread
(Bolo Rei)
What You Need:            (To Make: two 10-inch rings)
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  • 2 packages or cakes of active dry or compressed yeast
  • A pinch plus 1 cup sugar
  • cup lukewarm water (110 to 115)
  • 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk (110 to 115)
  • 3 eggs
  • pound (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into small bits
  • 3 tablespoons seedless raisins
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced mixed candied fruit peel
  • 3 tablespoons blanched, toasted, and coarsely chopped almonds (see bolo de amendoa a algarvia)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Crystallized fruits, whole blanched and toasted almonds (see bolo de amendoa a algarvia) and whole pine nuts (pignoli) for garnish
  • cup coarsely granulated decorating sugar or substitute regular granulated sugar

  • How To Cook:
    1. In a small shallow bowl, sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar over the lukewarm water. Let the mixture stand for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir to dissolve the yeast completely. Set the bowl in a warm draft-free place, such as an unlighted oven, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the yeast has doubled in volume.

    2. In a deep mixing bowl, combine the 1 cup of sugar, 4 cups of the flour and the salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast and milk. Drop in the eggs, gently stir together with a large spoon, then beat until the ingredients are well combined.

    3. Beat in the pound of butter, then add up to 2 cups more flour, beating it in cup at a time, and using as much as necessary to form a dough that can be gathered into a soft ball. When the dough becomes difficult to stir easily, work in the flour with your fingers.

    4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and knead it by pressing it down, pushing it forward several times with the heel of your hand and folding it back on itself. Repeat for about 15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Sprinkle it from time to time with a little flour to prevent it from sticking to the board.

    5. Lightly knead in the raisins, candied fruit peel and almonds. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly buttered bowl. Drape loosely with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour, or until the dough doubles in bulk.

    6. With a pastry brush coat the bottom and sides of 2 large baking sheets with 2 tablespoons of softened butter. Punch the dough down with a single blow of your fist, let it rest for 10 minutes, then divide it in two.

    7. Form each half into a round loaf and with your fingertips press a hole in the center of each loaf and push the dough into a ring about 8 inches in diameter. The hole in the center should be about 4 inches across.

    8. Place a loaf on each baking sheet. To insure that the rings hold their shape, butter the outside of 2 ovenproof baking dishes 3 to 4 inches in diameter, invert and set one in the center of each loaf. Let the bread rise in the warm place for 30 minutes.

    9. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350. With a pastry brush, coat the entire surface of the bread with beaten egg. Then decorate the tops and sides of the rings with the crystallized fruits, whole almonds and pine nuts, pressing them lightly into the dough and arranging them as fancifully as you like.

    10. Sprinkle with the cup of decorating sugar and bake in the middle of the oven for about an hour, or until golden brown and crusty. The bread may be served warm or it may be cooled to room temperature on a rack.

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