*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
 
                          ITALIAN CHRISTMAS BREAD
 
 Recipe By     : 
 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Breads                           Italian
 
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    1       c            Warm water (105 to 115
                         -degrees)
    2       pk           Active dry yeast
      1/2   c            Sugar
    2       ts           Salt
      1/2   c            (1 stick) butter or
                         -margarine, softened
    3                    Eggs, beaten
    1                    Egg, separated
    5 1/2                To 6 - cups sifted
                         -all-purpose flour
    1       c            Raisins
    1       c            (8 oz) mixed candied peel
      1/2   c            (4 oz) red candied cherries,
                         -halved
    1       tb           Butter or margarine, melted
    2       tb           Water
    2       tb           Sugar
 
   If possible, check temperature of warm water with a
   thermometer. Sprinkle yeast over water in a large
   bowl, stirring until dissolved. Add 1/2 cup sugar,
   salt, 1/2 cup butter, 3 eggs, the egg yolk and 3 cups
   flour; beat with wooden spoon or electric mixer until
   smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually, add remaining
   flour; mix in last part with hand until dough leaves
   side of bowl.
   
   Turn dough onto lightly floured board. Knead until
   smooth, 5 minutes. (Dough is soft. )Place in lightly
   greased large bowl; turn to bring greased side up.
   Cover with towel; let rise in a warm place, free from
   drafts, until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
   
   Grease well and line inside of 8 springform pan with
   4 strip of buttered brown paper. Punch down dough;
   turn out onto lightly floured pastry cloth or board.
   Knead in raisins and candied fruits until well
   distributed, about 5 minutes. Place dough in prepared
   pan. Brush top with 1 Tbsp melted butter. Cover with
   towel; let rise in warm place, free from drafts, until
   more than double in bulk, about 2 hours.
   
   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a sharp knife, cut
   deep cross on top of bread. Brush with egg white
   combined with 2 Tbsp water. Bake 30 minutes. Remove
   bread form oven. Brush again with egg white mixture
   and sprinkle with sugar. Continue baking 30 minutes
   longer or until golden brown. Remove from pan; cool on
   rack. Makes 1 loaf.
  
 
 
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