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Holiday Fruit Bread

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Ingredients Edit

Directions Edit

  1. In shallow bowl, combine raisins, dates, prunes and enough port to just cover.
  2. Let stand 30 to 60 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil large baking sheet and dust with cornmeal; set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  5. In large bowl, mix flour, ½ cup sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves.
  6. Cut butter into dry ingredients with a pastry blender or rub it in with your fingers until mixture resembles fine crumbs; set aside.
  7. In small bowl, whisk egg then whisk in buttermilk, vanilla and lemon peel.
  8. Drain fruit; discard port.
  9. Add fruit to flour mixture and toss well.
  10. Make a well in flour mixture, add buttermilk mixture and stir briskly with wooden spoon just until dough pulls together in a mass.
  11. Let stand 3 minutes.
  12. Lightly dust work surface and hands with flour.
  13. Turn dough out onto surface and divide in half.
  14. Knead each half 30 seconds then pat into 1-inch-thick circles.
  15. Brush off any flour on dough, then fold each circle in half (but not perfectly, the top should be set back from bottom by about 1 inch)
  16. Lightly brush loaves with milk and sprinkle generously with sugar (about ½ tablespoon).
  17. Transfer loaves to baking sheet.
  18. Bake 25 minutes.
  19. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
  20. Continue baking until loaves are golden brown and crusty, 20 to 25 minutes.
  21. Transfer loaves to wire rack and cool completely before slicing.
  22. To store, wrap cooled loaves in foil and refrigerate.

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