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Holiday Breads
Pan Dolce/ Italian Christmas Cake (with yeast, Sherry, anise, pine-nuts, pistachio nuts and raisins)
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: Christmas
Contributed by: Taken from "Pan-Pacific Cook Book" by L.L. McLaren (1915)

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3 pints of sifted flour
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
Half a cake of compressed yeast
1 pint of lukewarm water.

For loaf
1 pound of softened butter
2 cups of sugar
A wineglass of Sherry
A tablespoon of orange-flower water
A dessert-spoon of anise extract
1 cup pine-nuts
1/4 cup pistachio nuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup currants
A piece of citron, shaved
Enough flour to form into a loaf.

For glaze
1 egg yolk


Make a sponge of three pints of sifted flour, two teaspoons of sugar, one of salt and half a cake of compressed yeast, dissolved in a pint of lukewarm water.

Let it rise over-night in a covered pan.

In the morning knead well, adding flour until the dough is of a good stiff consistency; then add a pound of softened butter, two cups of sugar, a wineglass of sherry, a tablespoon of orange-flower water and a dessert-spoon of extract of anise.

When well mixed, add, little by little, a cup of pine-nuts, a quarter of a cup of pistachio nuts, a cup of sultanas, half a cup each of raisins and currants, a piece of citron, shaved, and enough flour to form into a loaf.

Pat it into a circular shape and place in a round greased pan with a napkin folded around it in turban shape, so that the bread can raise until light and spongy, and, before putting it in the oven, cut in incision in the top like a cross, remove the napkin and bake in a moderate oven.

Glaze with the yolk of an egg.

Delicious cut in slices and toasted for afternoon tea.


This recipe was published in "Pan-Pacific Cook Book, Savory Bits From the World's Fare" compiled by L.L. McLaren. The cookbook was published in San Francisco by Blair-Murdock Co. in 1915. For the complete copyright-free cookbook visit www.archive.org.... Photo of store-bought Italian holiday cake: Mary Melfi.

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