Old Diary

Italian Sweet Breakfast Bread

I could live without many things, but the thought of living without …. BREAD…. seems hardly worth doing.  Yeah — it’s got carbs.  But there’s a reason it’s survived centuries as the staff of life.. A slight change of pace today.

And besides…. everything in moderation.  Right?

It would be nice if I could figure out ways to make some of these things in small enough batches that you end up with just the right amount for breakfast for two retirees, but I don’t seem to be able to do that.


P.S.:  any of these breads that use the technique of making the dough and then refrigerating it overnight or so-many-hours tend to have a more mature and hearty flavor.  I also do this with my pizza dough — making it today and then using it (I make enough for 2 pizzas) tomorrow and the day following.

Italian Sweet Breakfast Bread

Makes one 10-inch round loaf

  • 2 ½ tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbs. white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped candied lemon peel

DSC_3354 - editedIn the bowl of a large stand mixer, combine yeast, water and sugar. Cover and let stand 10 minutes, or until foamy.  (If yeast does not foam, discard and begin again with new yeast.)  Add eggs, yogurt, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt. Mix well. With the paddle attachment of the stand mixer, stir in flour ½ cup at a time, scraping sides of bowl down, until dough starts to form (after adding ~3 cups).  Switch to the dough hook and continue adding flour (about 1 more cup) until dough forms a manageable mass.  Continue kneading for 5 to 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary, until dough is soft and pliable, but not sticky (up to 5 cups).

Form dough into a large ball and coat all sides with vegetable oil.  (I like to lift the dough out of the bowl, pour a tablespoon of oil in, then turn the dough around in the oil until the dough, as well as the sides of the bowl, are greased.)  Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

DSC_3381 - editedPunch dough down in bowl, transfer to a floured surface, and knead in the dried fruits.  The goal is to get the fruits uniformly throughout the dough without any of them actually bursting out into the exterior of the bread (as they will burn if exposed in the oven).

Form dough into a ball and place in a greased 9-10 inch round pan.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and cool rise in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, remove pan from refrigerator and let come to room temperature (about 1 hour before baking).  Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F  for 45 minutes, or until loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (If bread browns too quickly on top, cover with a piece of foil.)


5 thoughts on “Italian Sweet Breakfast Bread

  1. Tammy M Dotson says:

    Recipe’s look great. Glad all went well with your appointment, sounds like you are on track.


    • Thanks Tammy.

      Yeah — September really blind-sided us. This visit was a little more livable. I’m one of those guys with a need to ‘understand’ and getting there sometimes takes me a while.



    • With yeast doughs the whole reason for putting them in the fridge is that it gives the dough a chance to develop more flavor. Not sure how well it works with non-yeast doughs.

      Wouldn’t think very well, but you never know till you try. I’ve been trying all sorts of different cooking methods since retiring trying to teach old dogs new tricks. 🙂

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