Amaretto Almond Bread


1 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2/3 cup milk, room temp
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Freshly grated peel of 1 lg. lemon
Whole blanched almonds for decoration
1 1/2 - 2 tbsp. sugar


In a small bowl, combine raisins and liqueur. Cover; let stand overnight or 3 to 4 hours to soak.
In large bowl of electric mixer, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in water. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add milk, butter, honey, eggs, salt, vanilla, lemon peel and 2 to 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer 4 minutes or, beat 400 vigorous strokes by hand. Stir in 1 cup chopped almonds and enough remaining flour to make a stiff batter. Cover with a slightly damp towel. Let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Generously grease 2 (8"x4") loaf pans or a 10 cup bundt pan. Sprinkle bottom and sides of pans with remaining 1/2 cup chopped almonds. If using bundt pan, arrange whole blanched almonds in bottom of pan; set aside.
Stir down batter. Turn into prepared pans. Butter your fingers and a 12" square of waxed paper. Smooth batter with your buttered fingers. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over top of batter in each loaf pan. Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar over batter in bundt pan. If using loaf pans, arrange whole almonds in a decorative pattern over sugar coated batter. Gently press almonds into batter. Cover with buttered waxed paper. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 40 to 45 minutes for loaf pans and 45 to 50 minutes for bundt pan or until bread sounds hollow when tapped on top. Remove from pans. Cool on a rack. Makes 1 large or 2 medium loaves.
1 1/4 c. butter, room temp.
3 tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. grated orange peel
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 c. Amaretto liqueur or other almond flavored liqueur
Great on anything from pancakes to dinner rolls!
In small bowl of electric mixer, beat butter, honey, orange peel and almond extract until blended. Beating constantly, slowly add liqueur. Beat until thoroughly blended. Spoon into a small serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
AMARETTO-NUT BUTTER: Stir in 1/4 cup toasted finely chopped almonds.
SPIRITED BUTTER: Substitute 1/4 cup orange flavored liqueur, rum or brandy for almond flavored liqueur. Omit almond extract.




4.0 servings


Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 1:16am



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