All the Celtic countries with which the legendary King Arthur was associated have a colorful bread filled with fruits and
spices, traditionally made to celebrate festivals and holidays. They use a simple dough, sweetened and loaded with hard-to-get
sweetmeats and spices that were saved for special occasions. We like our version of this bread using a New World ingredient,
using some cranberries in the fruit mixture.
2 cups ( 8 ounces) King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour, Premium or White
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter or vegetable oil (or a combination)
2 teaspoons salt
4 to 5 cups ( 17 to 21 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) nonfat dry milk
2 cups ( 10 to 12 ounces) fruit, in any combination: raisins, currants, cranberries, or candied peel
FOR THE SPONGE: Combine the water with 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar and the yeast. Stir in the whole wheat flour and spices.
Cover and let this mixture work for 2 hours.
FOR THE FRUIT: Melt the butter, add the remaining sugar and the dried fruit of your choice. After 2 hours, blend this into the sponge.
FINISHING THE DOUGH: Add the salt and then the all-purpose flour a cup at a time, mixing the dry milk into the first cup that you add.
Mix thoroughly until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until it comes
together. Let it rest, covered, while you clean and grease your bowl. Continue kneading the relaxed dough until it feels smooth and
springy. Place the dough in the bowl, cover and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
TO MAKE IN A BREAD MACHINE: Make the sponge as described above in the bucket of your machine using the dough cycle. When
the cycle ends, reset the machine and add the butter, salt, remaining brown sugar, dry milk, and 4 cups of flour. Add the fruit when the
machine beeps for additions, and as much additional flour to make a soft, smooth dough. Let the machine finish its cycle. It will be very
full: don’t try to bake this in the machine. Take the dough out and shape it after the dough cycle ends.
SHAPING AND RISING: When you can poke your finger in the dough without it bouncing back, deflate and shape it. You can divide this dough in two
pieces and bake it in two bread pans, or bake it as two batard-shaped
loaves. Place the shaped dough in lightly greased bread pans or on a
baking sheet. Let the dough rise until almost doubled again, about 1
hour; preheat the oven to 350°F during the second half of the rise
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the center reads 190°F when measured with an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven
and cool on a rack before slicing. Yield: 2 loaves, 20 slices.
Nutrition information per serving (92g): 256 calories, 6g protein, 48g carbohydrates, 5g fat,
3g fiber, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 12mg cholesterol, 249mg sodium, 21g sugars, 2mg
vitamin C, 2mg iron, 51mg calcium. Weight Watchers Points Plus®: 7 points.