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Published prior to 2008

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 to 1 teaspoon cardamom, to taste (1 teaspoon is quite strong)
3 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup each golden raisins or sultanas; diced or slivered dried apricots; and chopped, candied cherries (a total of 1 1/2 cups dried fruit)*
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled a bit
3 eggs

*This is the fruit mixture I like; a more traditional mixture would be candied cherries and pineapple, and mixed peel. Just use 1 1/2 cups, total, of whatever combination of dried/candied, chopped fruits strike your fancy.

1 egg white, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon sugar OR 1 teaspoon Breadshine mixed with 2 tablespoons water
pearl or coarse sugar
slivered or sliced almonds (optional)

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and the fruits. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, and eggs. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring to moisten thoroughly.

Pour the batter into a lightly greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Smooth the batter in the pan, and brush it with the beaten egg white or Breadshine. It may seem a bit awkward brushing quick bread batter with a wash, but just use a soft pastry brush and be gentle; itíll work. Sprinkle the bread with the sugar (and almonds, if desired.

Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for about 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Itíll probably crack on the top; thatís OK. Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a rack to cool completely before slicing. Some of the sugar and/or almonds may fall off, even with the wash; itís aggravating, but unavoidable. Wrap the bread well for storage. Yield: 1 loaf, about 15 to 18 servings.