- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup diced citron or mixed candied fruit and peel
- 1/2 cup sliced candied cherries
- Melted butter
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 5 to 6 teaspoons whole milk
- Blanched whole almonds, coarsely chopped, and additional candied fruit
PREP: 30 min. + | RISING BAKE: 25 min. | YIELD: 3 loaves (12 slices each)
1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the milk, butter, salt, cardamom, eggs, egg yolks, remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in the raisins, citron, cherries and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
2. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/4 hours.
3. Punch down; divide into thirds. Roll each piece on a floured surface into a 10x6-in. Oval. Brush with melted butter. Fold 1 long side over to within 1 in. Of the opposite side. Press edges to seal. Place on greased baking sheets. Brush with melted butter. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
4. Bake at 375° until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. For icing, combine confectioners' sugar and milk; spread over cooled bread. Decorate with almonds and fruit.