“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”

James Beard (1903-1985)

Monday, December 13, 2010

BBD#35 - Bread with dried fruits

Ah, the challenge! Everywhere in the world, novice and seasoned bakers await excitedly for the topic of the month. Will it be a sweet bread? Maybe something with grains? How about a bread with booze? You can practically hear the groans when it turns out to be a sourdough bread. But whichever one is picked, each participant and host adds a very personal and creative contribution to the Bread Baking Day Challenge.

This month, Umm Mymoonah from Taste of Pearl City is hosting this month's Bread Baking Day. She picked dried fruits for this month's challenge, perfect for this time of year!

I initally planned to bake a kerststol. I love the sweet buttery dough, the chewiness of the raisins and the slight tangy-ness of the candied peels. The almond filling is creamy, nutty and makes the whole bread just one fabulous experience. But the prospect of having an entire stol sitting on my counter (and then having to eat it *grin*) was not entirely convincing so I ended up doing something a little different :-). For a step-by-step instruction on how to make the flowers, see Mis Recetas Favoritas (where you can see a beautiful example!) I love the shape, but found it too cumbersome with the wet filling. Next time I'm going to go with either a pastier filling, or a different shape. Still, they may not look pretty but they were very good!

Christmas Daisies
For the filling
1/2 cup of golden raisins
1/2 cup of candied peel
1 cup of orange juice

For the dough
1 cup of milk, warm
4 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of yeast
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups of all-purpose flour

4 grams of cream cheese
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of flour
1 egg, beaten

Soak the raisins and the candied peel in the orange juice. In a small bowl, add the yeast to the warm milk and let it proof. In a larger bowl, place the flour, salt and the sugar. Add the yeasty milk, stir until well blended (the flour will be dry), then add in the two eggs and the butter. Knead everything into a nice, shiny, slightly sticky dough. Cover and rise for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, beat the cream cheese with half of the beaten egg (you'll use the rest for brushing the bread), the sugar and the flour into a thick paste.

Carefully punch down the dough and cut pieces of 2 1/2 oz, roll into balls. Cover and rest while you squeeze the orange juice out of the soaked fruits.

Now carefully roll a ball of dough into a larger circle. Spread some almond spread on top and sprinkle with some soaked fruits. Pulling the dough around the filling up, pinch the seams and carefully roll the ball back together. Place on the counter, seam down and covered, while you fill all the other ones.

Pat the dough down, cut and fold according to the instructions. The filling is wet and lumpy so it takes a bit of practice (or a lot). I'm sure you can do better than I did!

Put your flowers on parchment paper on a baking sheet, or a silicone mat, cover and let rise for another thirty minutes. Brush with eggwash, and bake in a 350F oven for about 25 minutes or until golden.


  1. These real cuties Nicole. Love sweet bread.

  2. They look sooooooo gorgeous. I'm glad that I'm hosting this event, to see all these wonderful and cute looking breads. Thank you so much for sending it to BBD 35.

  3. Very cute little flowers! Love them. Thank you for participating and I wish you and your family a very happy 2011.

  4. Oh, I love the look of these...they're so cute :D Plus they sound delicious. Bookmarking!