Poinsettia-Shape Fruit Bread
- In a large mixing bowl combine 1-1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, butter, granulated sugar, and salt until warm (120 degree F to 130 degree F) and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture to flour mixture along with the eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in raisins, dried cranberries, lemon peel, and as much of the remaining flour as you can.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (1-1/2 to 2 hours).
- Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into thirds. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Grease 3 baking sheets.
- Roll each portion of dough into an 8-inch square. Carefully transfer one of the squares to one of the baking sheets, reshaping as necessary. Using a sharp knife, cut 4-inch slits from the corner to within 1/2-inch of the center of the square. Fold every other point to the center to form a pinwheel. Use water to moisten points of dough in center and press to seal. Repeat with remaining squares and baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double (about 50 minutes). Place 2 of the baking sheets, covered, in the refrigerator while the first loaf bakes.
- Stir together egg white and water. Before baking, lightly brush mixture over loaf. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake, one loaf at a time, in a 325 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Transfer pinwheel to wire rack and let cool. Repeat with remaining baking sheets from refrigerator. (Store egg white mixture, covered, in refrigerator when not in use.) Store loaves in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Makes 3 pinwheel loaves.
From the Test Kitchen
To Present This Gift...
Cut grape leaves into the shape of poinsettia leaves. Place fruit bread pinwheel atop grape leaves in center of clear glass plate to resemble a poinsettia flower and its leaves.
Also try this...
Layer clean, dried leaves between two glass plates for a fun effect.
To present this gift you will need:
Scissors, paper grape leaves (purchased from a cooks catalog or specialty store), and square clear glass plate.