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    Spiced Yule Bread

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    Spiced Yule Bread

    This is very good eaten with mulled wine or ale at Christmas. Serve thickly sliced, with or without butter

    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 150 minutes
    • Cooking time: 80 minutes
    • Total time: 3 hours 50 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 50 minutes

    Makes: 1 x 900g loaf

    Ingredients

    • 450g strong white flour
    • A pinch of salt
    • 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
    • 115g cold butter, finely diced
    • 1 sachet easy-mix yeast
    • 115g organic unrefined caster sugar
    • 115g currants
    • 115g raisins
    • 55g candied peel, chopped
    • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
    • 1 medium egg, beaten
    • 150ml milk

    Method

    1. Sieve the flour, salt and spice into a large mixing bowl. Rub in the diced butter until it forms fine breadcrumbs with the flour. Mix in the yeast, followed by the sugar, dried fruit and chopped candied peel. Stir the orange zest into the egg and mix into the flour.
    2. Warm the milk until tepid, then mix into the flour. Knead roughly - it should form a soft but not sticky dough. Cover and leave to rise for about 2 hours. It will become puffy rather than doubling in size like a normal bread.
    3. Grease a 900g loaf tin and preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Tip the dough out of the bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a loaf and fit it snugly in the oiled loaf tin. Lightly cover and leave to prove for 20 minutes.
    4. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 10 minutes. It should be golden brown and well risen. If it looks as though the crust is getting too dark, lightly cover with foil. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

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