PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F. Combine the citron, angelica and raisins in a small bowl, pour boiling water over to cover, then stir and let stand. Melt the butter and let cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk in a large bowl, stir, and let stand a few minutes to dissolve. Add the salt, eggs, butter, granulated sugar, mace and cardamom, and mix well. Add 2 cups of the flour and beat vigorously until smooth. Add 3 more cups flour, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each. After adding the last cup, beat until the dough holds together in a shaggy ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or 2, sprinkling on more flour if necessary to keep it from being too sticky. Let rest for 10 minutes. Drain the fruits and raisins in a strainer and press firmly to remove excess water.
Sprinkle the fruit and nuts over the dough, and resume kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add a little more flour as necessary to keep it from being too sticky. Place in a greased bowl, and turn the dough about to coat all surfaces. Cover and let rise until double in bulk. (This dough is especially rich, and the first rise might take as long as 3 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.) Punch the dough down and divide in half. Shape and pat each piece into an oval about 10 inches long and 4 1/2 inches at the widest part. Fold almost in half the long way, bringing the upper edge only about 2/3 of the way over, so the bottom edge extends beyond the top. Place the loaves on a greased baking sheet, leaving several inches between them. Cover lightly and let rise for 45 minutes. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 40-to-45 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and dust with the confectioners' sugar sprinkled through a sieve, then transfer to racks to cool.
Makes 2 Loaves
PRODIGY GUEST CHEFS COOKBOOK