Source: Posted by Kislev 12/15/2001 11:11 am
4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups sifted flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 1/3 cups milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped, dried fruit (I use tropical fruits myself)
In large mixer bowl combine 2 3/4 cups of the flour, yeast, nutmeg and ginger. In saucepan heat together milk, sugar, shortening and salt just until warm; stir to melt shortening. Add to dry ingredients in bowl and mix. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat at low speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat at high speed for 3 minutes. By hand, stir in fruit and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth. Place in greased bowl; turn once to grease surface of dough. Cover and let rise until double, about 2 hours.
Punch down. Divide dough in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Shape each half into a ball. Place on greased baking sheets and pat tops to flatten slightly. Cover and let rise again until double, about 2 hours. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Drizzle with confectioners' sugar glaze, if desired, and decorate with candied cherries and nuts.