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Recipe

Festive fruit bread

Light like a panettone and buttery like a brioche, this bread is wonderful and so Christmas-y. This Nici Wickes recipe is a bit different to the usual format, but trust us, as you’re buttering gorgeous, warm slices of Christmas fruit bread, you’ll forget the effort.

By Nici Wickes
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 45 mins cooking
  • 24 hrs marinating
  • Makes 2
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Ingredients

Christmas Eve
  • 1 1/4 cup high-grade flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup cranberries or goji berries
  • 1/2 cup brazil nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup candied orange or ginger, or a mix
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates or figs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup rum or fruit juice, or a mix
Christmas Day
  • 1 1/2 cup high-grade flour
  • 100 gram butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Method

Christmas Eve
  • 1
    Mix together flour, yeast and water in a medium bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • 2
    In a separate bowl, mix together remaining Christmas Eve ingredients and set aside overnight, stirring occasionally.
Christmas Day
  • 3
    Combine the flour/yeast mixture with the Christmas Day ingredients above and knead in a mixer, with a dough hook attached, until it becomes a soft, sticky dough – about 7-10 minutes. Divide in half and put each bit of dough into floured bowls. Cover and leave in a warm place for 1½-2 hours, until they have risen.
  • 4
    Gently plop your dough pieces onto a well-floured surface and carefully pat each into a 10-15cm rectangle.
  • 5
    Spread the fruit over each, leaving a small border, then roll up from the long side. Turn it 90 degrees and brush the dough so it's free of flour as you roll it.
  • 6
    Line two loaf tins with baking paper and shape each bit of dough to fit into the tins. Press gently into each. Cover and leave to rise for 2 hours or until dough doesn't spring back immediately when gently pressed.
  • 7
    Preheat oven to 160°C fan-bake.
  • 8
    Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the tops are a deep golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out. Slice warm or cool and eat with lots of butter!

Notes

• Use a plastic bag to loosely cover the dough as it rises. Doing so saves it sticking to a tea towel! • This cake is a great one to start on Christmas Eve, then bake on Christmas Day.

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