Do you have a sweet tooth but wish for a guilt-free treat? This wonderful German recipe for rich fruit bread might just tick the box.
My Grandma was a very strong woman, a female dentist in the 1930s! She was a wonderful character but she also liked to interfere quite a bit.
When I moved to the UK in 1997, we experienced a definite case of ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and during the last ten years before her death we became really close to each other. She adored her great-grandson and was able to meet baby Alex as a bump during the week before she passed away.
This week I’d love to share with you a family recipe from my Grandma’s kitchen for a delicious, moist fruit bread that is quintessentially German. In my family it has been baked for decades, just in time for Christmas. We call it Schnitzbrot but sometimes it’s referred to as Kletzenbrot or Hutzelbrot too.
The dried fruits in this vegan recipe are full of natural goodness and sweetness which means you only need a small amount of added sugar. Rich in iron, calcium, potassium and protein this healthy treat will allow you to indulge, knowing that it doesn’t just taste great but does you good too.
500g dried pears, in small pieces
500g pitted prunes
500g whole nuts (hazelnuts and almonds)
500g dried figs, chopped
20-25g fresh yeast
60g mixed peel (candied orange and lemon peel)
ground clove, ground fennel and ground aniseed to taste
125g unrefined sugar
some blanched almonds for decoration
Soak the dried pears in water and cook for half an hour. Pour over the pitted prunes, cover and leave to soak overnight. Also pour the flour in a large bowl and make a little ‘volcano crater’ in the middle. Mix the yeast with a some warm water and pour this into the indentation and let it sit overnight too (it’s like a mini version of sourdough).
The next morning, drain the soaked fruit and reserve the liquid. Add a pinch of salt and enough of the soaking liquid to the flour to form quite a firm dough. Gently incorporate the fruit until they are evenly distributed. Sprinkle the dough with flour, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let the dough rise for about 45 minutes.
Shape the dough into 8 little loaves and let them rise again for another 30 minutes. Decorate the loaves with blanched almond halves and bake at 180˚C until dark brown. For a glaze you can thicken some of the soaking liquid with cornflour. Bring to a gentle boil and spread over the loaves with a pastry brush.
These will keep for several weeks and can also be frozen. Sliced thinly, Schnitzbrot is traditionally eaten with butter and sometimes even mild cheese.