250 grams sieved flour
25 grams yeast
125 grams butter
1 egg yolk
1 dl milk
5 grams salt
25 grams sugar
200 grams steeped raisins
100 grams steeped currants
50 grams candied peel pieces
20 grams chopped candied orange peel
80 grams almond paste
peel of 1 lemon
Grease a baking tray with butter. Mix the raisins, currants, candied peel and chopped candied orange peel in a bowl. Mix the almond paste, the egg yolk and the lemon rind in a second bowl. Shape this latter mixture into a roll.
Make a yeast dough of the flour, the lukewarm milk, butter, yeast, salt, sugar and the egg. Leave this to rise for 10 minutes in a warm place, under plastic foil. Work the filling, including the raisins, currants, etc., through the dough. Leave to rise for another 10 minutes. Shape the dough into an oblong bread. Put the almond paste inside the bread and fold closed. Cover the dough with plastic foil and stand to rise on the baking tray for 10 minutes. Bake the Christmas bread in a 190 ° C oven for 40 minutes. As soon as you have taken the bread out of the oven, brush with butter and dust with caster sugar. Stand to cool on a wire rack. The bread keeps for a fortnight in a plastic bag.
Almond pastry ring
3/4 cup blanched and peeled almonds
¼ cup sugar
peel of 1 lemon
(Ready-made) puff pastry
Apricot preserve, icing (with a little lemon juice) and, for instance, candied red and green cherries, candied orange peel, chocolates and red ribbon.
The filling is best made a month in advance! Grind the almonds and mix well with the lemon rind, the sugar and the egg. If the paste is too solid, you can add some water.
Make your own puff pastry or use ready made sheets. Roll the pastry into a long strip of 4mm thick and 10 centimeters wide. Shape the almond paste into a roll which is about the same length. Place this roll on the dough, a little above the center. Loosely wrap the dough around the roll, moisten the sides to stick together. Turn the roll; the join is now at the bottom. Shape the roll into a circle (or a letter). Brush with beaten egg. Bake in a 450° F oven for 15 minutes, until golden-brown.
When done, brush the ring thinly with the preserve and, while still hot, coat with the icing. Leave to cool and decorate with the candied cherries, candied orange peel, chocolates and ribbon.
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