Holiday Fruit Loaf


2 packages dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup honey
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup butter, cut into bits
4-1/2 cups sifted flour
2 eggs, well beaten
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup halved candied cherries
1/2 cup finely chopped citron
(Candied orange or lemon peel or 1 cup raisins can be substituted for cherries or citron)


Soften yeast in warm water. Scald milk and add honey, salt, and butter. When butter has melted and mixture is lukewarm, add half the flour, beating until smooth. Add yeast, eggs, and rest of flour. Mix until dough is moderately stiff. Flour a breadboard just enough to prevent sticking. Knead until dough is smooth. Place in buttered bowl, and turn so dough is well greased. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk (about 1-½ hours).

Turn onto floured board and pat dough into ½-inch thickness. Scatter nuts and fruit over surface, fold dough over to enclose, and knead with light touch several times to distribute the fruit. Divide dough in halves. Shape each piece into a ball. Place in 2 buttered round cake pans, about 8-½ x 1-½ inches. Cover and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. While dough is rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush dough with melted butter and bake 30 to 40 minutes. Cool on racks and remove from pans.

If desired, frost with White Icing, and top loaves with designs made with nuts and cut fruit.


Makes 2 round loaves.

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