Wednesday, July 27, 2011

JUNK (Pope's bread or Pane papato)

This is an Italian fruit snack/bread that is packed with dried fruit and nuts and is like candy.  It is traditionally made around Christmas.  It keeps forever, is great for traveling (no crumbs), is very versatile and tastes so wonderful!  This can be made with any dried fruit.  Traditionally it had cocoa powder and candied fruit rinds (orange, lemon).  I like it the way my grandmother makes it though.  Lot of nuts, honey and dried fruit.   We used almonds, pecans, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts traditionally, but you could used walnuts, and any other nuts you want.  You could probably do candied ginger in teeny tiny pieces too.  I even added sesame seeds this time.  Pretty easy really, and it makes a lot to last you.  I freeze my loaves and take them out as needed.  I have heard you can seep them in wine too.  But we love it sliced and eat it like an energy bar. The name "Junk" came from my mom's because she couldn't say "Pane Papato" and it stuck.  It is my father-in-law's favorite!


INGREDIENTS: what I used
  • 1 lb. almonds
  • 1 lb. pecans
  • 3 TBSP sesame seeds
  • 1 lb. dried pineapple
  • 1 cup dried dates
  • 1 cup dried raisins
  • 1 cup dried strawberries
  • 1 cup dried blueberries
  • 1 cup dried mango
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon (I like a lot. Start with less, and go by your nose. Could even use pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (my dad doesn't like the oatmeal, but I do :-)
  • 32 ounces (2 LB.) honey
  • 1-2 cup of whole wheat flour and more for kneading in

Pour all nuts and dried fruit in a bowl.  Add spices you desire.  Toss to coat.  Dump in honey.  You want it to be coated well.  (this is the only binder in it).  Add the flour and stir.  Add some more until it looks like this.

Sprinkle about 1 cup flour on counter and put some big spoonfuls down on top.
Knead the flour into the bread and begin forming a loaf from it.  Like this.
It will begin to hold together.  Don't do too much flour.  You want it to hold loaf for, but not be dry.  After you knead it, working the flour in, form a loaf about 1 1/2" tall, 4 inches wide and 10-12" long.  Like this.  

Line a cookie sheet with parchment and preheat oven to 350. Transfer carefully to cookie sheet.
Make more loaves to put on the cookie sheet like this.
Bake until just begins to brown, about 30 minutes.  Don't overcook!  When it comes out it will be hard and seem impossible to eat.  Will look like this:
When cool, use a very sharp knife to slice.  Enjoy!

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