Swiss Almond Loaves

Swiss Almond Loaves

2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 C. warm water
1 C. warm milk
1/4 C. butter, room temperature
1/4 C. sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. ground mace or nutmeg
4 1/2 to 5 C. flour (divided)
1 egg
1/2 C. raisins
1/2 C. slivered almonds
1/2 C. diced mixed candied fruits
2 T. egg white, slightly beaten
2 T.  vanilla sugar

Sprinkle yeast over water in large bowl of electric mixer. Let stand until soft (about 5 minutes). Add milk, butter, sugar, salt and mace; stir until butter melts.

Add 3 cups of the flour. Mix to blend, then beat until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Beat in egg. Stir in about 1 cup more of the flour to make a soft dough. Mix in raisins, almonds and fruits.

Turn dough out on a board or pastry cloth coated with some of the remaining 1/2 to 1 cup flour; knead until dough is smooth and springy, and small bubbles form just under the surface (15 to 20 minutes).

Transfer dough to greased bowl. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled (about 1 hour). Punch dough down. Turn out on floured surface and knead lightly to expel air bubbles. Divide into 2 equal parts.

Shape each half of the dough into a loaf. Place in generously greased 41/2-by-81/2-inch loaf pans.

Let rise until dough just reaches tops of pans (30 to 45 minutes). Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush tops of loaves lightly with beaten egg white. Sprinkle evenly with vanilla sugar.

Bake until loaves are well browned and sound hollow when tapped (30 to 35 minutes). Carefully remove from pans and let cool on wire racks. Slice loaves into 1/2-inch-thick slices for serving.

Makes 2 loaves.


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