Here's an old world favourite everyone still loves.
- 1 cup dark raisins
- 1 cup diced glazed fruitcake fruit
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 tsp rum flavouring
- 1 tsp almond flavouring
- 2 Tbsp dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups butter or non-hydrogenated margarine
- grated rind of 1 lemon
- 2 cups flour
- 4 large eggs
- 5–7 cups more flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups slivered or chopped almonds, lightly toasted
- 1 egg, beaten for brushing on loaves
- icing sugar to dust finished loaves (optional)
- measuring cups and spoons
- large bowl
- 2 medium bowls
- large wooden spoon
- clean tea towel
- brush for egg wash
- rolling pin
- cookie sheets
- Soak the fruit in orange juice and flavourings in a medium-sized bowl while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in water—add a tsp of the sugar to feed the yeast.
- In another medium-sized bowl, melt the butter and add the milk, sugar, salt and lemon peel. Stir to dissolve the sugar, heating a bit more if required. Cool to lukewarm. Add to yeast mixture in the large bowl and add the 2 cups of flour. Mix well and let stand about a half hour for the yeast to work.
- Stir and mix in eggs, soaked fruit with the liquid, cinnamon and enough flour to make a soft but not sticky dough. Be careful not to add too much flour, or it will be dry. Add the toasted almonds and knead in.
- Place dough in a large, greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Allow to rise in a warm place until it's doubled.
- Punch down and divide into 4–6 pieces. (Four makes large loaves and six makes moderate-sized loaves.) Roll each piece into an oval about 3/4 " thick. Brush surface with beaten egg.
- Take one of the longer sides and fold over almost in half like an envelope. Place on a baking sheet and allow to rise again until almost doubled in size. Brush with beaten egg and bake at about 350° F for about 25–30 minutes or until done. Do not over bake or it becomes dry. When cool, you may sprinkle with icing sugar.
- Slice and serve.
When you plan to make this recipe, you'll need about 3 hours of rising time in addition to the preparation time.