Holiday Fruit BreadClick to Play

Holiday Fruit Bread

Gubana

Mary Ann Esposito

Makes 2 Spiral-Shaped Breads

This impressive spiral-shaped bread is my version of an old Italian standby, the classic sweet nut-and-fruit-filled bread of Friuli called gubana. I've added malt extract to fortify the proofing yeast and mascarpone cheese to create a delicate texture. If you can't find these ingredients, you can use sugar in place of the malt extract and cream cheese instead of mascarpone.

DOUGH

1 3/4 cups warm (110º to 115ºF) water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons malt extract or sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
6 to 7 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

FILLING

2 1/2 cups dried mixed fruits (such as apricots, pears, prunes, and/or apples), diced
1/3 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sweet marsala wine
1 cup apricot or orange marmalade
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup turbinado (coarse brown) sugar

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in 3/4 cup of the warm water, stir in the malt extract, and let proof for about 10 minutes, until foamy.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, eggs, and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Stir the remaining 1 cup water into the yeast mixture, then stir in the mascarpone mixture. Slowly add 5 cups of the flour and the salt, and mix with your hands to form a ball of dough, adding additional flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.

Generously grease two 2-quart soufflé dishes or round baking dishes. You could also use 10-inch springform pans or oven-safe pottery bowls. In a bowl, combine all the filling ingredients except the marmalade; mix well.

Punch down the dough and divide it in half. On a well-floured surface, roll each piece into a 16-inch circle. Spread 1/2 cup of the marmalade over each circle, leaving 1/2-inch around the outer edge, then sprinkle on half of the fruit mixture. Roll up each piece like a jellyroll, tucking the edges in as you roll. Pinch the seam tightly closed. Turn each bread seam side down, and shape into a spiral. Place the breads in the soufflé or baking dishes, cover, and let them rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Brush the tops of the spirals with the beaten egg, and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the turbinado sugar over each one. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the tops are nicely browned and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes.

Run a knife around the edges of each dish and carefully turn the breads out. This bread is best eaten warm; the breads can be reheated in a warm oven.

Note: The breads can be frozen. Let cool completely, then wrap tightly in foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, unwrap and let thaw, then reheat in a warm oven.

This recipe is from CELEBRATIONS ITALIAN STYLE by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company Inc., in 1995.

item recipe is featured in Episode 807 of Season 8.

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