Events and Celebrations

  • 500 g (1 lb) strong white flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • grated rind of 1 orange
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 125 g (4 oz) caster sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons fast-action dried yeast
  • 75 g (3 oz) butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten, plus extra yolk to glaze
  • 175 ml (6 fl oz) water
  • 100 g (3½ oz) whole candied peel
  • 125 g (4 oz) glacé cherries
  • 125 g (4 oz) slivered blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 125 g (4 oz) icing sugar
  • 4–5 teaspoons lemon juice

Put the flour in a large bowl, then stir in the salt, rinds, sugar and yeast. Add the butter and beaten eggs, then gradually mix in enough warm water to make a soft dough. Knead well until the dough is smooth and elastic. Put back into the bowl and cover with greased clingfilm. Leave in a warm place to rise for 1¼ hours or until doubled in size.

Tip out on to a lightly floured surface and knead well. Roughly chop the candied peel, cherries and almonds. Reserve one-third of the mixture, then gradually knead the remainder into the dough.

Shape into a thick rope 50 cm (20 inches) long and push the ends together to make a ring. Place on a greased baking sheet. Stand a greased bowl in the centre of the ring to keep the hole and cover loosely with greased clingfilm. Leave to rise for 30 minutes or until half as big again.

Remove the bowl, brush with yolk mixed with the water and bake in a preheated oven, 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6, for 20–25 minutes until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Cover with foil if overbrowning. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then gradually mix in the lemon juice to make a smooth, pouring icing. Drizzle over the bread in random lines. Sprinkle with the reserved fruit and nuts, then leave to set.

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