Recipe for Fisherman's Bread (Pane Del Pescatore)


3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperatur; e
5 tablespoon sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup diced candied orange peel
1/4 cup diced candied lemon peel
4 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 tablespoon milk
3 tablespoon dry marsala


Combine butter and sugar in large mixing bowl. Beat until fluffy, light and pale in color, 5-7 minutes on medium speed of electric mixer. Add whole egg and continue to beat, scraping down sides of bowl. Add yolk and beat well, scraping down sides of bowl again.

In separate mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, raisins, candied orange and lemon peels and fennel seeds. Add half flour mixture to butter mixture and mix until dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Beat in 2 tablespoons milk and Marsala. Add remaining flour mixture and continue to mix just until rough, shaggy dough forms.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead with lightly floured hands until dough is soft but still slightly sticky, about 2 minutes. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into ball and then, using palms of hands, flatten balls into disks about 1" thick. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with butter. Place shaped loaves on baking sheet. With small serrated knife, cut simple shallow grid pattern in top of each loaf. Brush tops with remaining 1 tablespoon milk.

Bake loaves at 350'F. until light golden-brown and wood pick inserted in center comes out dry, 35-40 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 2 (6") loaves, about 8 servings.

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