A German Christmas tradition, this sweet yeast bread is packed with dried fruits, with a ribbon of marzipan in the middle.
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- ⅔ cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- ½ tablespoon salt
- ⅓ cup butter, softened
- 2 ½ cups bread flour
- ⅓ cup currants
- ⅓ cup sultana raisins
- ⅓ cup red candied cherries, quartered
- ⅔ cup diced candied citron
- 6 ounces marzipan
- 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the egg, white sugar, salt, butter, and 2 cups bread flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has begun to pull together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead in the currants, raisins, dried cherries, and citrus peel. Continue kneading until smooth, about 8 minutes.
- Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the marzipan into a rope and place it in the center of the dough. Fold the dough over to cover it; pinch the seams together to seal. Place the loaf, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), and bake for a further 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow loaf to cool on a wire rack. Dust the cooled loaf with confectioners' sugar, and sprinkle with the cinnamon.