|Active dry yeast||1|
|Milk||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|All purpose flour||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Vegetable shortening||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Butter||1 Teaspoon, softened|
|Water||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)|
|Dried pears||1⁄2 Pound, coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)|
|Pitted dried prunes||1⁄4 Pound, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)|
|Seedless raisins||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Strained fresh lemon juice||2 Tablespoon|
|Finely chopped walnuts||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Kirsch||2 Tablespoon (Imported)|
|Finely grated lemon peel||1 Teaspoon|
|Ground cinnamon||1⁄4 Teaspoon|
|Ground nutmeg||1⁄4 Teaspoon|
|Dry red wine||4 Tablespoon|
|Butter||1 Tablespoon, softened|
|Egg||1 , beaten lightly with 1 tablespoon milk|
1. Take a deep mixing bowl, add the lukewarm milk. Scatter the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Allow the mixture stand for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir well.
2. For about 5 minutes, keep the bowl in a warm, draft-free place such as an unlighted oven, so thatl the yeast bubbles up and the mixture almost doubles in bulk.
3. Add slowly add 1/2 cup of the flour, stirring constantly.
4. Add in the vegetable shortening and then stir in the egg, the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the salt. Beat well.
5. Stir in up to 2 cups more flour, adding it 1/2 cup at a time and using only as much as necessary to make a dough that can be gathered into a compact ball. If the dough becomes tough to stir, work in the flour with your fingers.
6. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, by folding it end to end, then pressing it down and pushing it forward several times with the ball of your hands.
7. Scatter so extra flour if necessary to prevent it from sticking. Repeat for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
8. Turn the the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl which is already coated with 1 teaspoon of butter.
9. Sprinkle some flour over the top, drape a kitchen towel over the bowl, and set in a warm, draft-free spot for 45 minutes to an hour, until it doubles in bulk.
10. As the dough raises, prepare the filling. First, bring water to a boil. Put in the pears, prunes, raisins and lemon juice. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, or until the fruit is tender and can easily be mashed with the back of the spoon. Stir continuously.
11. Drain the fruit thoroughly, then puree it through a food mill or use the back of a spoon to rub it through a sieve set over a bowl.
12. Put in the walnuts, sugar, kirsch, lemon peel, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well. Finally, stir in 2 tablespoons of the red wine. The filling should be thick enough to hold its shape almost solidly in a spoon.
13. But, stir in up to 2 tablespoons more wine, a teaspoon or so at a time, if you find the mixture too thick.
14. Using a pastry brush, apply the tablespoon of softened butter evenly on a large baking sheet or jelly-roll pan. Punch the dough down with a single blow of your fist.
15. On a lightly floured surface, keep the dough. Roll it out into a 15-inch square no more than 1/4 inch thick.
16. Using a spatula, apply the filling over the dough. Cover it smoothly completely leaving just 1 inch space from of the edges.
17. Using your fingers, fold the edges over the filling to make a perfect 13-inch square. With a rolling pin, roll the dough jelly-roll fashion into a tight cylinder 12 inches long and about 3 inches in diameter.
18. Keep the roll to the buttered baking sheet. Using a fork, lightly prick the outside surface all over with the tines of a fork.
19. Keep the roll aside to rise for about 1 hour.
20. Now, preheat the oven to 350°.
21. Using a pastry brush, apply the egg-and-milk mixture on sides and ends of the bread. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and crisp.
22. Remove and cool to a wire cake rack to cool.
23. Make slices and serve the pear bread warm with accompaniments of choice.