German Holiday Loaves
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas
German Holiday Loaves, known as Hutzelbrot, and makes a spicy and fruity accompaniment to coffee or a dinner of roast pork.
2 tablespoons active dry yeast OR 2 cakes
1 pint sweet cider; lukewarm
7 cups rye flour
4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsweetened prune juice
3/4 cup pear nectar or pear puree
1 pound seedless raisins
1 pound dried currants
1 cup chopped dates
Grated rind of 3 oranges
Grated rind of 3 lemons
1 cup split almonds
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup unsweetened grape juice
Soften yeast in cider. Add 4 cups of rye flour and 2 cups whole wheat flour and salt. Mix well. Let rise in a warm place for about 4 hours.
Add prune juice and pear nectar or puree. Meanwhile, soak fruits, rind, nuts and spices in grape juice. Add them to the mixture. Stir in enough of the remaining flours to make a stiff dough. Knead. Shape into 4 or 5 round or oval loaves, and place on oiled, floured cookie sheets. Set in a warm place to rise.
When loaves are 1/3 larger than the original size, brush with egg yolk diluted with water and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
The bread keeps well and improves with age. Recipe makes 2 Holiday loaves.
Yields: 32 servings
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Hutzelbrot is one of the oldest Christmas breads. Formerly it was made without any addition of sugar or honey. The dough got its sweetnessonly from the baked Hutzeln (also known as Kletzen or Klotzchen).