Bremer Klaben is a traditional German Christmas bread with dried fruits and almonds which is protected by a European PGI.
Author: Nadia Hassani
1(¼ oz.) packageactive dry yeast
13tablespoonsunsalted butter, softened
¾cupcandied orange peel, plus 2 tablespoons, finely chopped
¾cupcandied lemon peel, plus 2 tablespoons, finely chopped
Finely grated zest of one organic lemon
3½oz.finely chopped blanched almonds
Place the raisins in a colander and rinse under hot water. Drain well. Place them in a bowl and mix with the rum. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the milk with the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes until it starts to foam.
Mix the flour with the salt and the remaining sugar in a large bowl. Add the yeast mix and butter and knead into soft elastic dough that detaches from the bowl by hand or, preferably, with the kneading attachment of an electric mixer. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
Add the orange and lemon peel, lemon zest, cardamom, vanilla and almonds to the raisins and mix well.
Place the dough on a clean work surface. With your hands, gradually work in the dried fruit mix, including all of the liquid. It takes a while for the dough to absorb all the fruit, and the dough will be very sticky. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan (a meatloaf pan is ideal) as well as the shiny side of a large piece of aluminum foil. Place the dough in the loaf pan and push it down gently so it fills the entire pan.
Tightly cover the loaf with the foil, greased side down. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Uncover, reduce the temperature to 350 F and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. If the raisins turn too dark and the loaf is not done yet, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
Unmold the loaf immediately onto a wire rack, then gently turn it over so the bottom rests on the wire. Let cool completely and wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Store in a cool place.