Fruit bread with hidden marzipan
Photo by Tamara West
A simple fruit bread which I have filled with 11 marzipan balls to represent the 11 faithful disciples (minus Judas). Delicious toasted the next day — if you have any left!
Makes 1 loaf.
- Soak the dried fruit in the warm cider. Sift the flour, salt and spices into a warm bowl and add yeast.
- Strain cider from the fruit and add cider to the flour. Set fruit aside. Cover bowl and leave in a warmplace for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate. Then mix to form a soft dough.
- Turn dough out on to a lightly-floured bench top and knead for 15-20 minutes until dough is smooth. Kneading can be done in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook for 5-10 minutes.
- Very lightly oil the bowl, place in dough, cover with plastic wrap and a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Tip dough back on to bench top and add reserved fruit. Knead briefly until fruit is evenly distributed throughout the dough. Flatten dough a little and place in marzipan balls, spreading them out evenly.
- Fold dough over to completely enclose marzipan balls, turn over and shape into an oval or round loaf and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover and leave for a further 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C.
- Dust the loaf with extra flour and using a sharp knife score the loaf 3 times across the top, place in oven and bake for 35 minutes or until golden. Another test is to tap the base of the bread, it should sound hollow.
Make a change:
- Play around with your spices; small amounts of allspice and cloves are good here too.
- Replace one measure of dried fruit with chopped candied peel or currants.