1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup cherry infused dried cranberries
1/4 cup brandy
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia, or 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract & 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Confectioners' sugar to garnish
8” cake pan, greased and lined with a parchment circle and collar.
1. In a medium bowl, combine yeast, water, 1/2 cup flour and 1 Tbsp. sugar. Cover and let stand 10 minutes, or until foamy.
2. Combine fruits with brandy in a small bowl; set aside.
3. Sift 4 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in a bowl; set aside.
4. In a large bowl combine eggs, yogurt, melted butter and flavoring. Add the yeast mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.
5. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture a cup at a time until it forms a stiff dough.
6. Turn out onto a board and knead the dough for about 2 minutes.
7. Place in a bowl, cover and set in a warm place until doubled.
8. When dough has doubled, strain the dried fruit discarding brandy and add to dough along with the almonds. Knead the fruit and nuts into the dough.
9. Place the dough in prepared cake pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise 30 minutes.
10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
11. Bake for 45 minutes, or until loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Center of loaf should register 185 degrees F.
12. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Garnish with confectioner’s sugar if desired.