ITALIAN PEPPERED FRUIT BREAD (PAXPEPATO)
Peggi Anne Tebben
Panpepato has been eaten in central Italy since at least 1300, the date of
earliest manuscript recipe for it. It is probably the original ancestor of English
and American fruitcake and plum-pudding. Originally the dough was allowed to rise; some later versions omit this. The chocolate was added about 200 years ago. Despite modern prejudices against the medieval mixture of "hot" &
"sweet," the bread has hung on as a traditional snack in central Italy to the present day.
1 ozcompressed fresh
·yeast, or 11/2 packages active dry yeast
4 clukewarm water
4/ 1/2 cof unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2shelled blanched walnuts
1/2 cshelled blanched almonds
1/2 cchocolate chips
1/2 cmixed glazed fruit
1/2 cpitted dates
1 1/3 Tbspolive oil
1/2 tspfreshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp(scant) freshly ground nutmeg
How to Make ITALIAN PEPPERED FRUIT BREAD (PAXPEPATO)
- Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of the water in a small bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Place 11/2 cups of flour in a larger bowl, add the dissolved yeast, and mix with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated and a small ball of
dough is formed. Sprinkle an additional 1/2 cup of flour over the ball of dough, then cover the bowl with a cotton towel and put it in a warm place
away from drafts. Let it stand until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- While the dough is rising, soak the raisins in a small bowl with 2 cups of lukewarm water for 1 hour.
- Chop the walnuts and almonds into small pieces and place them in a large bowl. Add the chocolate chips, glazed fruit and honey to the bowl. Cut each date into 4 pieces and add them to the bowl.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the salt, pepper and nutmeg over the contents of the bowl. Mix all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
- When the dough has doubled in size, add it to the nut and fruit mixture, along with the drained raisins, mixing carefully with a wooden spoon. Then
add 1 cup of lukewarm water and the 2 cups of flour, little by little, while mixing very gently for about 10 minutes.
- With the remaining oil, oil and flour an 8-inch diameter spring-form pan &
place the dough in it. Cover the pan with a cotton towel and put it in a warm place away from drafts, to double in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- When the dough has doubled in size, immediately place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for about 65 minutes.
- Take the bread from the oven, open the spring-form immediately and remove the bread to a wooden surface.
- Note: This bread is generally not eaten until at least 1 day after it is baked.