Yield: 2 servings

Measure Ingredient
\N \N Stephen Ceideburg
1 cup Candied cherries
¼ cup Sweet red wine (Marsala preferred)
3¾ cup All-purpose flour
⅓ cup Granulated sugar
½ teaspoon Salt
5 teaspoons Quick-rising dry yeast
¼ teaspoon Freshly grated nutmeg
⅔ cup Unsalted butter or margarine, softened
¼ cup Milk
½ cup Water
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 \N Eggs
2 \N Egg yolks
1 \N Zest of half an orange
½ cup Nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, or hazelnuts)
½ cup Green candied pineapple wedges
1 \N Powdered sugar for dusting on the top

An Italian Christmas is not complete without this high-domed cylinder of fruit-studded sweet bread. This recipe has an option of using the microwave to make the bread rise.

Soak the cherries in the wine.

In the processor bowl fitted with the steel blade, combine flour, sugar, salt, yeast and nutmeg. Pulse to mix. Now cut butter into pieces and arrange on the top. Pulse to blend so that it almost disappears.

In a glass measure, combine the milk and water. Microwave on high about 40 seconds (see power levels), then with a fork, whisk in the vanilla, eggs, and egg yolks. With the processor motor running, drizzle the liquids very slowly into the flour mixture in food processor.

Process 60 seconds. Add orange zest and pulse to mix. Transfer to large glass mixing bowl and cover loosely with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap.

To use the microwave for bread rising, place the bowl in the microwave. Place an 8-ounce glass of water in the back of the microwave. Lower the microwave to low (see power levels). Place the dough in the microwave. Heat on low for 3 minutes. Rest for 3 minutes. Heat on low for 3 minutes longer. Rest for 6 minutes, or until the batter has risen to about double in bulk. It will look bubbly and light.

Or let the dough rise in a warm draft-free place about 45 to 60 minutes.

When dough has doubled in bulk, stir the batter down, then stir in the cherry mixture, nuts and candied pineapple until well- distributed in the batter.

Grease generously and lightly flour two, 1-pound coffee cans. Cut a parchment or wax paper circle to fit the bottom of each can and add it, dusting and flouring it as well. Spoon the batter into the cans, filling about halfway. Press down slightly. Let rise in a warm, draft free place until nearly doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Just before popping it in the oven, cut an X in the tops of the loaves with a razor. Italian bakers put a blob of butter into the cut.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, or until evenly browned and a skewer stuck in the center comes out clean. Remove immediately to a rack to cool, then 15 minutes later, slide the cakes out of the pans and lay them on their sides to continue cooling. Dust with powdered sugar while warm. When cooled, wrap in plastic to store.

Power levels: high (100 percent), medium-high (70 percent), medium (50 percent), medium-low (30 percent) and low (10 percent). In ovens of less than 600 watts, increase cooking times about 15 percent. If your oven is less than 500 watts, try using high or maximum power, even when directions call for 50 percent power. The high setting is equivalent to 50 percent power on a 600-700 watt oven.

Per ½-inch slice: 160 calories (8 percent from protein, 61 percent from carbohydrate, 31 percent from fat), 3 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fat, 37 milligrams cholesterol, 41 milligrams sodium.

Exchanges: 1½ bread, 1 fat.

Makes 2 1-pound cakes Cost--about $2½ each Linda West Eckhardt writing in the Portland Oregonian's FOODday, 12/22/93.

Posted by Stephen Ceideburg

Submitted By LAWRENCE KELLIE On 01-04-95

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