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This recipe comes from Linda Askew of Quad/Graphics. She says, “This recipe makes 5 loaves--just enough to feed the pressman!” We’ve cut the recipe back to 2 loaves, but feel free to double it if you’ve got company coming.
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs plus 1 yolk (save the white for glaze)
1/4 teaspoon orange oil or Fiori de Sicilia
1/2 cup dried sweet cherries, currants or golden raisins
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon butter
In a small saucepan or in the microwave, melt the butter in the milk, and let the mixture cool to lukewarm.
Combine the milk mixture with the remaining dough ingredients, except for the fruit, and mix and knead them togetherby hand, mixer or bread machinetill you've made a soft dough. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 1/2 hours.
Deflate the dough and knead in the fruit. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a loaf. Place in two lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch bread pans, and let the loaves rise for abut 1 1/2 hours, till they've crowned about 1 inch over the rims of the pans.
Mix the topping ingredients together, brush the tops of the loaves with beaten egg white, then sprinkle each loaf with the topping. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F. Oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove it from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: 2 loaves.