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Aunt Sarah's "hutzel Brod" Recipe

Aunt Sarah's "Hutzel Brod" Recipe

History of the Recipe:
Hutzel Brod is a traditional German Christmas bread that has been baked for generations. This delicious bread is named after Aunt Sarah, who was known for baking it every year, one week before Christmas. The recipe has been passed down in the family and is a cherished holiday tradition. The bread is made with dried fruits, nuts, and warm spices, giving it a rich and festive flavor. Unlike rich fruit cakes, Hutzel Brod is a healthier alternative as it does not contain eggs and uses only a small amount of butter. It can be kept for up to two weeks, and it still tastes wonderful even after that time.

Fun Facts:
- Hutzel Brod is a specialty bread that is primarily made during the Christmas season.
- It is popular in Germany, especially in the regions of Bavaria and Swabia.
- The use of dried fruits and nuts in this bread is reminiscent of ancient German Christmas traditions.
- The warm spices used in the bread, such as cinnamon and cloves, create a cozy and festive aroma.
- Hutzel Brod is often enjoyed with a spread of butter or cream cheese.
- This recipe yields twelve small loaves, making it perfect for sharing with family and friends during the holiday season.

Ingredients:
- 2 pounds dried pears
- 2 pounds dried prunes
- 2 quarts juice of fruit and water (mixed)
- 1 pound dried currants
- 1 pound seeded raisins
- 1 pound blanched and shredded almonds
- 1 pound chopped English walnut meats
- 1-1/2 ounces finely-shredded citron
- 1-1/2 ounces orange peel
- 1/2 ounce chopped figs
- 1 ounce ground cinnamon
- 1/4 ounce ground cloves
- 2-1/2 ounces anise seed
- 6 pounds flour (warmed and sifted)
- 2 cakes compressed yeast
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 large tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 tablespoons brandy or sherry

Instructions:

1. The night before making the bread, place the dried pears and prunes in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let them soak overnight.

2. In the morning, drain the fruits and place them in a large pot. Stew them until they become tender.

3. Strain the juice from the stewed fruits and mix it with water to measure two quarts. Set aside.

4. Remove the pits from the prunes and cut both the prunes and dried pears into small pieces. Set aside.

5. Clean the currants and raisins. Blanch and shred the almonds. Chop the walnut meats, citron, orange peel, and figs. Add the cinnamon, cloves, and anise seed. Mix everything together and set aside.

6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warmed and sifted flour with one quart of the fruit juice. Dissolve the compressed yeast cakes in a little warm water and add them to the bowl as well. Knead the mixture well until a sponge-like consistency is formed.

7. Once the dough has risen, add the remaining quart of fruit juice, sugar, butter, salt, and brandy or sherry (if desired). Alternatively, you can substitute the brandy or sherry with more fruit juice.

8. Add the prepared fruits, nuts, and spices to the dough and knead thoroughly until everything is well combined.

9. Allow the dough to rise for two to three hours, or until it has doubled in size. This can be done in a warm place.

10. Once the dough has risen, divide it into twelve equal portions and shape them into small loaves.

11. Allow the loaves to rest for an additional hour, which will help them rise further.

12. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

13. Bake the loaves in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until they are golden brown and baked through. You can test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the bread; it should come out clean.

14. Once fully baked, remove the loaves from the oven and let them cool on wire racks.

15. Once cooled, Aunt Sarah's Hutzel Brod is ready to be enjoyed! Slice the loaves and serve them with butter or cream cheese.

Similar Recipe Dishes:
If you enjoyed Aunt Sarah's Hutzel Brod, you might also like these similar recipe dishes:

1. Stollen: Stollen is a German Christmas bread similar to Hutzel Brod. It is made with a yeast-based dough and enriched with butter, dried fruits, and nuts. Stollen is often dusted with powdered sugar and is a popular treat during the holiday season.

2. Panettone: Panettone is an Italian sweet bread traditionally enjoyed during Christmas. It is made with a rich dough filled with candied fruits and raisins. Panettone has a light and fluffy texture and is often served with coffee or hot chocolate.

3. Fruitcake: Fruitcake is a popular dessert around the world, especially during the holidays. It is made with a dense cake batter filled with a variety of dried fruits, nuts, and spices. Fruitcake is often soaked in brandy or rum to enhance its flavor and longevity.

These delicious holiday bread recipes are a wonderful way to celebrate the Christmas season. Whether you choose Aunt Sarah's Hutzel Brod or explore other traditional recipes, these festive treats are sure to bring joy and warmth to your home.

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