This recipe is adapted from one in a favorite cookbook which I received from my son and daughter-in-law in the 1980s – Elsah’s Landing Heartland Cooking (Illinois).
I thought the reconstituted mincemeat was sweet enough to allow me to reduce the sugar. The result is a soft, easy-to-handle dough and a loaf with interesting flavors from the orange peel and mincemeat. It’s wonderful toasted and we also like it as a buttered, grilled sandwich with our favorite chicken salad.
APPLE MINCEMEAT YEAST BREAD
2 Tblsp. fast acting dry yeast*
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 Tblsp grated orange peel
1-½ tsp salt
1 cup water
½ cup apple juice
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup mincemeat (reconstituted)**
5-½ to 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
*I use Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast. I buy it in bulk (454 g) and the package says that it is made in Canada. I understand it is packaged under the name “Instant Dry” for distribution through stores like Sam’s, “Rapid Rise” in the U.S. and “Quick Rise” in Canada. The “Instant Dry”, “Rapid Rise” or “Quick Rise” yeast is especially formulated to be used mixed with the dry ingredients and can withstand the hot water.
**This mincemeat comes in a 9 oz. block which is cooked with boiling water to make 1-½ cups of mincemeat comparable to the mincemeat that is prepared and sold in a jar. Use just ½ cup for this recipe.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place 2 cups all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar, orange peel, and salt. Beat to blend dry ingredients.
Heat water, apple juice, applesauce and canola oil to 130 degrees F. Add heated ingredients to dry mixture in bowl. With paddle beater, mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
Add mincemeat and beat for 30 seconds.
Remove paddle beater and insert dough hook. Continue to beat for 6-1/2 minutes, adding flour a little at a time. You may not have to use all of the flour – the dough should be smooth and elastic after 6-1/2 minutes.
Place dough in an oiled bowl, turn dough over once and cover with a napkin or tea towel. Let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place that is free of drafts (I put mine on top of my microwave which sets under a cabinet).
After 45 minutes, punch down dough (press your knuckles into the dough to deflate it) and lay it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough and form into two 9-inch or three 7-½ inch loaves. loaf. Turn over and pinch the edges to seal. Place loaves in greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise for another 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake loaves 45-50 minutes for 9-inch loaves and 35-45 minutes 7-½ inch loaves until bread is golden brown and has a hollow sound when tapped or registers 210 degrees on a bread thermometer. Cover with a piece of foil if top is browning too fast.
Remove bread from pan immediately, cover with a napkin or a tea towel and let cool on a wire rack.