Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Including Another Grandma in Christmas - Her Fruit Bread

Hubby, me, Gma Katherine & Gpa Ed
I am pretty sure other people make a similar bread, but may have a different name for it.  To us it’s Grandma Katherine’s Fruit Bread.  Grandma Katherine wasn’t really my grandma.  She was actually my maternal grandma’s best friend, and she lived in the house right behind ours when I was a baby.  My family had lived there for years and my mom often had morning coffee with her and my grandma.  She and Grandpa Ed were considered part of the family from long before I was born until sometime after I was married when they left us for Heaven within a year or two of each other.

Grandma Katherine’s Fruit Bread is a sweet dough with dried and candied fruit, and walnuts.  I actually don’t make the same recipe any more, although it's certainly good.  It had scalded and cooled milk, eggs, and plenty of sugar and white flour.  I figured out several years ago I could put the fruit and nuts in my multigrain bread recipe (or about any other of my choice) for an easier and healthier substitute.  No one loves it any less…and I feel much better about eating as much as I want!  It has to be toasted, and plenty of butter spread on top doesn’t hurt.  I don’t think Grandma Katherine would mind that I no longer follow her recipe to the letter.  She’d be so thrilled that any part of what she shared with us is continuing down to future generations, and that I think of her with great affection every time I make this bread.  Somehow making it is like giving her a hug.

Grandma Katherine's Fruit Bread (original recipe)
Makes 2 loaves

1 cake yeast (1 Tbsp) dissolved in 1/4 c lukewarm water 
2 c milk, scalded and cooled
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c butter or margarine
6 c flour
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c raisins
1/2 lb fruit mix
1/2 c nuts

Cream butter and sugar, add egg.  Add milk, water, and yeast. Add 2 cups of flour to make a thin batter, beat.  Let rise one hour.  
Add *fruit (which has been mixed with nuts and 1 cup of the flour), salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough.  Turn out on floured surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes.  The dough will remain slightly sticky because of the fruit.  
Let rise until double, approximately one hour.  Divide and shape, place into greased pans, also making sure there is a coating of oil or grease over the loaf.  Let rise one hour while preheating the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 30 minutes.

*My kids like me to add cinnamon with the fruit...about 1 Tablespoon.

You may be interested in this previous post, which includes my Multigrain Bread recipe:

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