This traditional sweet Christmas bread is full of fruit and spice. Now you can make it gluten-free! Made with Pamela’s All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend.
Chop any large pieces of fruit and soak fruit and raisins in rum or orange juice at least two hours or 8 hours to overnight if the fruit is dry.
In a medium bowl, stir together warm water and milk, add honey and stir to dissolve. Add yeast and stir to combine. Add ½ cup Pamela's All-Purpose Flour and whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place until foamy, light, and doubled, about 30 to 60 minutes. While the sponge is rising, prepare the filling and dough ingredients.
Melt butter in a small bowl in the microwave or stove top. Add sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together Pamela's All-Purpose Flour, yeast, salt, and mace. Set aside.
Pour honey into the the bowl of stand mixer and slowly mix in the beaten eggs and lemon zest until completely integrated. Slowly add warm milk until thoroughly combined. Add the sponge, and 1 cup of the flour mixture; mix until combined. Slowly add ½ cup of the flour mixture at a time until all the flour is used. With the mixer set on low, add the very soft butter 1 TBSP at a time, mixing it in before adding another. Push down dough from the sides and paddle once or twice in the process of adding the butter. Mix in the fruit with any remaining rum or orange juice, and blanched almonds, until evenly distributed.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half, and on a large piece of sprayed parchment, form dough into an elongated oval about ¾-inch tall; roll or pat into shape, using wet hands or sprayed silicone spatulas. Spread half the filling over the dough, leaving ½-inch clear at the edges and fold one half over the other. Seal the edges using fingers or spatula, and smooth tops and sides. Repeat with the other half of dough. Slide each one onto a parchment-lined insulated cookie sheet or sheet pan, and brush tops with melted butter.
Tent with plastic wrap, or use a large inverted roasting pan, and allow to rise in a warm draft-free location until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°; when preheated, immediately turn down to 375° and bake in the middle of the oven for 35 to 45 minutes. If both cookie sheets won’t fit on one shelf, position one above center and one below, switch positions half way through baking. If getting too brown, add loosely fitting foil over the top about 15 minutes before completion.
Cool completely on wire rack before adding a huge sprinkling of powdered sugar over the whole thing. Cut in ¾-inch slices and enjoy. If not serving the day you make it, wrap in plastic wrap, and sprinkle with powdered sugar right before cutting and serving.
Chef's Note: Feel free to substitute citron, candied orange or lemon peel, or other dried fruits.
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