Pan de Pascua Chileno

                  

Ingredients:

For the sponge:

For the final dough:

Preparation:

For the sponge:

In a bowl, combine the flour, yeast, powder milk, salt, water (adding little by little until well combined) ann honey.

Mix until getting a soft dough. Cover and let it rest in a warm place for 4 hours.

For the final dough:

Transfer the starter mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the eggs, vanilla, lemon peel, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, aniseed, pisco, coffee, salt and the sugar.

Then add 1 1/2 cups of flour, l/2 cup at a time, stirring the mixture constantly with your hand until the dough is sticky and soft

but has enough body to be gathered into a rough ball.

If necessary, add a little more flour.

Divide the soft butter into three pieces and mix one piece at a time into the dough, which should then become heavy and fall from your hands in large blobs.

Gather it together again in one piece. Now add l/2 to 1 cup more flour, a little at a time, mixing it in with your hands.

When the dough is firm and, although oily, no longer sticky, knead it on a floured board for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and shiny.

Then shape it into a ball. Place the ball in a large, clean bowl and sprinkle the top with a little flour. Cover the bowl  and set it in a warm spot

In 2 hours the dough should rise to double its bulk.

Preheat the oven to 180°C .

Punch the dough down with your fists and gently knead in the diced candied citron, the white and dark raisins, the candied fruit and the chopped nuts.

Handle the dough as little as possible after you have added the raisins, citron, fruits and nuts.

Shape the dough into a ball again, place it on a buttered baking sheet and cut a cross on the top of the ball (we ommited this). 

Generously butter one side of a strip of heavy brown paper about 63 cm long and 13 cm wide. 

Wrap the ball of dough loosely in the paper, buttered side in so that the paper surrounds the dough in the pan like a collar. 

The collar should measure about 15 to 20 cm across.

Fasten the ends of the paper in place around the dough withstring, a pin or a paper clip and set the dough in a warm place to rise again (2 hours).

When the dough has again doubled in bulk, brush the top of the dough with some of the melted butter and bake the christmas bread on the middle shelf of

the oven for 10 minutes.  Then brush the top of bread with more of the melted butter, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes longer. 

When done, the top should be crisp and golden brown.

Brush again with melted butter about 15 or 20 minutes after the baking process begins.

When the bread is done, cool it on a wire cake rack, removing the paper.  To serve, cut the bread into thick wedges.