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Braided sweet bread with raisins and candied fruit, an Easter dessert

Tiziana Colombo: per voi, Nonnapaperina

Recipe proposed by
Tiziana Colombo

Recipes for Intolerants, Italian Cuisine
Lactose-free recipes
Preparation: 01 ore 00 min
Cooking: 01 ore 00 min
Ingredients for: 4 people
5/5 (1 Review)

Braided sweet bread with raisins and candied fruit, a truly special dessert

Braided sweet bread with raisins and candied fruit is a dessert made with one of the best doughs ever: brioche bread. It is made with flour, to which eggs, milk, oil, and flavourings are added several times. The braid is enriched with raisins and candied fruit, an ingredient generally associated with Christmas and Easter. Panettone and pandoro are seen as giants in this sense; the Easter dove is no different.

Because of this, I suggest making the sweet braid as a dessert for Easter get-togethers and visits with friends. Of course, it’s also excellent for a snack or breakfast. It goes well with tea and coffee or can be enjoyed on its own, as with any dessert made with sweet bread dough. However, it is also incredibly tasty, full-bodied, well-balanced, and appealing.

Recipe braided sweet bread with raisins

Preparation braided sweet bread with raisins

  • To prepare the braided sweet bread with raisins and candied fruit, you will have to start by making the dough, which is nothing other than sweet bread dough.
  • In a bowl, combine the yeast, 10 grammes (about 2 teaspoons) of sugar, and 500 grammes of flour. Stir in two eggs and the rest of the sugar.
  • Then knead and add the warm milk. Finally, add the cinnamon and form a dough, adding the seed oil a little at a time so that it is completely absorbed.
  • Knead everything for another 10 minutes and, if necessary, add the remaining 30 grammes of flour.
  • Meanwhile, soak the raisins for 20 minutes or more in hot water; after that, drain the water and add the well-drained and candied fruit to the dough.
  • Roll the dough into a ball and put it in a greased mould.
  • Now make a cross-shaped, shallow cut on the dough and cover everything with clingfilm. Allow it to rise for two hours in the defrosted oven to double in size.
  • Once this time has passed, transfer the dough to a floured work surface and shape it into three loaves of the same size, each weighing about 360 grammes.
  • Lightly roll out the three loaves with a rolling pin, then braid them up to form braid-shaped loaves.
  • Place each braid in 26 x 12 cm plumcake moulds covered with baking paper. Cover with cling film and leave to rise again in the oven(off) with the light on for 30–40 minutes.
  • Afterwards, brush it with the warm milk and sprinkle on some granulated sugar.
  • Cook the braids in a static oven at 200 degrees for 35 minutes. If you use a ventilated oven, cook at 190 degrees for 35 minutes. In either case, the oven must be preheated.
  • Remove the braided sweet bread with raisins and candied fruit from the oven, leave them to cool on a wire rack, and it is ready to be served.

Ingredients braided sweet bread with raisins

  • 530 gr. of double-zero flour
  • 180 ml of warm whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 90 gr. of sugar
  • 7 gr. of dry brewer’s yeast
  • 70 ml. seed oil
  • 70 gr. of raisins
  • 40 gr. of candied fruit
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • granulated sugar.

Raisins and candied fruit, perfect ingredients for sweet bread

Raisins (or sultanas) and candied fruit are recurring ingredients not only in the braided sweet bread with raisins and candied fruit but in Italian pastry in general, especially those that are rooted in the oldest customs. While raisins were brought from the Ottoman Empire, candied fruit first became popular during the Arab conquest. They work particularly well with various varieties of dough, specifically ones that are notable for being light and fluffy. This applies to the dough for panettone, Easter colomba, and sweet bread. Not to mention their health benefits.

You can simply get sultanas and candied fruit at the grocery store. But I suggest you attempt the do-it-yourself approach, particularly with the candied fruit, which is easily accessible. Now let’s talk about the doses: Use two parts fresh fruit, two parts water, and one part sugar. Place everything in a bowl and let it sit for a day. After which, the fruit will release its juice, which should be put in a pot and then topped with a quarter of the sugar to make a syrup. After covering the fruit with this syrup, let it sit for a day. Finally, repeat the process five more times until the syrup is used up.

A recipe for those suffering from food intolerances?

At this point, a question arises spontaneously: is the recipe for the sweet bread braid with raisins and candied fruit compatible with those suffering from food intolerances? Basically, no; in fact, we use type 00 flour and milk. Thus, it is a warning sign for people suffering from celiac disease and lactose intolerance. However, there is a solution. Just swap out the double-zero flour with a high-yield gluten-free flour if you have celiac disease. You will still lose some softness, but a good blend of maize flour and rice flour works just fine.

Treccia dolce con uvetta e canditi

If you suffer from lactose intolerance, use lactose-free milk instead, which is easily available in the supermarket. I don’t recommend using vegetable milk, as it would alter the flavour too much and make it less fluffy.

How to cook the braided sweet bread with raisins and candied fruit.

The braided sweet bread with raisins and candied fruit is baked in the oven. Still, there can be some confusion over whether to select the ventilated or static option. This is not a trivial detail if we consider the different dynamics to which the two modes are subjected. Cooking in a static oven happens through radiation, or the heat generated by the resistances positioned both above and below. Ventilated cooking is instead supported by a source that transmits heat to every point of the oven.

Basically, all dishes can be cooked with either method. All desserts, however, except for biscuits (cakes, meringues, and sponge cakes) and leavened dough, are better prepared with static cooking. First courses, second courses, and side dishes (vegetables, lasagne, baked pasta, fish, potatoes, and roasts) work best with ventilated cooking. Either way, keep in mind that the ventilated mode temperature needs to be adjusted 10–20 degrees lower than the static cooking temperature.

5/5 (1 Review)
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