|Mmm...christmassy and almondy|
I've wanted to make this for a while as the recipe has been hanging around in the back of one of my favourite baking books (Baking Martha Day). I altered the recipe ever so slightly from the original- a few more fruits and spices here, a little more rum there. It went pretty well- tasted lovely! But caught in the oven at the last moment- I shall check on it 5 minutes earlier next time (I was preoccupied with a mug of mulled wine...).
This makes 1 loaf. It's a long list but it's worth it.
4 tblsp dark rum
375 bread flour (white)
1/2 tsp salt
50g caster sugar
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (about 6 green pods, bashed and outer bit discarded)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 7g sachets of fast action yeast
129ml lukewarm milk
50g melted butter
1 m egg, lightly beaten
70g candied peel
50g blanched almonds, chopped
melted butter for brushing
icing sugar for dusting
FOR THE ALMONDY FILLING
115g almonds, ground
50g caster sugar
50g icing sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
about 1/2 an egg, beaten
drop of almond extract
-Turn the oven on to gas 4/180C. Put the sultanas in to heat proof bowl and place in the hot oven for 5 mins. Pour over the rum and set aside. Sift the flour, salt, sugar and spices in to a large bowl.
-mix the milk and yeast together. Pour in to the flour. Mix a little of the flour from around the edge of the puddle to form a thick batter. Sprinkle a little more of the flour over the top. Cover with some oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for 30 mins to sponge.
-Add the melted butter and egg and mix to a soft dough. Knead on a floured worktop until smooth and elastic- 10 mins should do it. Oil the bowl, put the dough back in and cover with the cling film again- and leave to rise in a warm place for 2-3 hours.
- meanwhile! mix the almonds, extract, caster sugar, icing sugar, lemon juice and enough egg to make a paste. Wrap it up in cling film like a sausage and set aside.
- Knock back the dough, pat out in to a rectangle about 1" thick and sprinkle over the rummy fruits, candied peel and almonds. Knead and fold gently to mix in the fruit and nuts.
- Roll the dough in to an oval, with the centre slightly thinner than the edges. Place the almond sausage in the centre, adjusting to fit. Fold the dough over the paste so that it encloses it but does not reach over to the other edge (i.e not like a pasty). Press down to seal and twist the ends a bit.
-Place the dough on to an oiled baking sheet. Cover with film and LEAVE TO RISE AGAIN! for about an hour, until doubled in size.
-NOW! preheat the oven to gas 6/200C.Bake for 30 minutes -CHECK AFTER 25! It should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Brush the top with melted butter and dust with icing sugar.
Delicious for breakfast!