Each mouthful was followed by a smile. The seal of approval. Her seal of approval. Because my mother is the sweetest lady, and the one whose opinions matter the most, when it comes to new things I make. She couldn't tell you something was God awful. She'd shrug and perhaps nod, but not smile. And you'd know it wasn't there yet. This time though, she smiled!
I baked it again today, with dried figs and sultanas and sun shriveled apricots, a few chopped walnuts too.
300g plain flour
150g warm milk
10g fresh bakers yeast
2 large eggs
1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
2 tbspn Aguardente
50g dried apricots
Roughly chop walnuts, thinly slice figs and apricots. Place in a bowl, along with the sultanas and soak with Aguardente. Set aside.
Warm milk and sugar until it reaches about 40 deg C, or test by dipping your finger (you shouldn't notice a difference in temperature to that of your finger). In a large bowl mix together yeast, sugar and milk. Stir until it has dissolved. Mix in 100g of flour. Cover and leave in a warm place until it turns into a sponge like consistency.
In a small sauce pan, gently melt butter. Add the butter to the sponge, followed by the eggs, remaining flour, cinnamon, soaked fruits. Knead for 5 minutes, until the dough no longer sticks to the sides. If it is too soft, add an extra spoon of flour.
Oil a large bowl and place kneaded dough. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place, for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size. After the dough has risen, turn onto oiled surface and shape into a ball. Line a cake tin with parchment paper and place dough. Allow to rise for a second time.
You could also cut it into smaller pieces, shape into balls and arrange them into a ring like shape, on a floured tray.
Preheat oven to 220 degs C. Brush with egg yolk and bake for 30 minutes at 170 degs C until golden brown.