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Currant Bread

ingredients

makes one loaf
15 g (1 1/2 level tsp) dried yeast
1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
400 ml (3/4 pint) tepid milk
5 cup (1 1/4 lb) 550 g strong plain flour
2 level tsp (10 ml) salt
25 g (1 oz) lard
8 oz (225 g) currants
2 tbsp (30 ml) cut mixed peel
sugar and milk to glaze

method

1. Blend the fresh yeast with most of the milk. For dried yeast, dissolve the sugar in half the milk, sprinkle the yeast over and leave until frothy.

2. Mix the flour and salt, rub in the fat and stir in the fruit and peel.

3. Add the yeast liquid and enough of the remaining milk to give a fairly soft dough. Beat well.

4. Turn the dough on to a floured board and knead until it feels firm and elastic. Leave to rise in a warm place (about 23°C, 75°F) until doubled in size. Knead lightly on a floured board,

5. Divide into 2 pieces, flatten each and roll up like a Swiss roll to fit a greased 450 (1lb) loaf tin.

6. Prove for about 20 minutes, until the dough fills the tins. Bake in the oven at 230°C (450°F) mark 8 for about 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 190°C (375°F) mark 5 and cook for a further 30 - 40 minutes.

7. The top of the currant loaves can be brushed over with a glaze made by dissolving 15 ml (1 level tbsp) sugar in 15ml (1 tbsp) milk, do this directly after taking the bread from the oven.

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