Sunday, October 11, 2009

Früchtebrot (Fruit Bread)

Fruit Bread (2/2)
© All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009

What to make for Advent and Christmas this year? Fruit Bread is a follow up posting to "Zimtsterne" in which I share some of the recipes I have made the last years, but which I didn't blog about so far. If you are interested in more advent and christmas photos visit my Christmas Bakery set on Flickr. Drop me a note, if you are interested in these recipes too.

Another of my favorites for advent and christmas season: Früchtebrot (Fruit Bread). I always have to remember myself to make it in advance, because the different flavors need some time to blend. At least it needs one day before you can cut it into slices. But it is certainly better if you pack it tightly in aluminium foil and give it a few days more. This fruit bread is made with Backobst (dried fruit) and I combine different fruit like figs, prunes, apricots, cranberries and dates. What is a must are raisins and currants which are the backbone of this bread. If you can't get currants, use raisins only or replace currants by cranberries. For the fruit bread you need rye flour. If you can not get it, you can use unbleached wheat flour.

(for one loaf)

125 g butter
125 g sugar
4 medium sized eggs
peel of one lemon
250 g rye flour
2.5 teaspoons baking powder (German users: 1 package of)
300 g dried fruit of your choice
125 g raisins
125 g currants

Preatheat oven to 150°C. Grease loaf pan with butter. Then add all-purpose flour to it to cover the butter layer. Remove any flour which don't stick to the butter. Put loaf pan into freezer until use. Butter, flour and freezing will make it easier to remove bread after baking.

Cut the dried fruit into small cubes. Use the fruit you like most. I always use a mixture of plums, apricots, figs, dates and cranberries (for the nice red color)

Mix butter and sugar until creamy. Add one egg and mix on medium speed for about one minute. Repeat step with the remaining three eggs. Add the finely grated peel of one lemon. Mix the flour with baking powder, sieve and add to the butter mixture. Mix just until combined. Fold in dried fruit, raisins and currants. Pour into the prepared loaf pan form.

Bake for 30 minutes at 150°C. After 30 minutes increase temperature to 180°C and bake for another 30 minutes. Fruit bread is done when a toothpick comes out clean. Let the fruit bread cool in form for about 10 minutes. Then remove from pan and let cool completely on a cooling reack. Wrap tightly in aluminium foil and store for at least one day.

On Food Photography
I make this bread every year and since 2006 I have also photographed it. The photo shown at the top of this posting is from 2008 presenting clear lines and shapes. The composition is based on a first order color contrast with blue as the dominating color, followed by by red and green in the back. I have chosen the blue as main color to separate the yellow to brown notes of the fruit bread from red and green to get more color contrast. Sharpnes and focus was set to the center slice showing the dried fruit pieces well.

In 2006 I have chosen a close up setting cropped to just two slices. Lines and shapes are dominating in this more monochromatic color scheme. The dark dried fruit show a almost metallic reflection.

fruit bread
© All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009

In 2007 I have tried a small bundt cake form for a different food styling. The bread was a bit on the dry side due to the small baking form (I should have used a regular sized bundt cake form). Composition wise I used a high key setting with a bright pink as the main background color. A white dolly and christmas tree ball were used as props. The main viewing line is the descending diagonal line from upper left to lower right. The blow out of the hightlights were used here itentionally as a contrast to an otherwise "dark" season.

Fruit Bread
© All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009

The progression of photos from 2006 to 2008 is quite interesting for me. I don't know, if I would do the photos the same way again. Food photography has changed in time and so did mine. Let see with what I will come up with this year.

If you like this post, you may also like:
Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Star Cookies)


Simones Kitchen said...

I love to see the different variations of the same dish you made through the years Thorsten. My favorite is still the newest one...:) I find that foodphotography is very strongly related to trends and my own like or dislike of certain things. I haven't been doing it for very long, so I can't go back all those years, but it would be interesting to do after a while!

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Fruit bread is my favorite but I've never made it. I would love to know where to find those cute molds for the Spekulatius. Love those. Every thing looks so good on your Christmas Bakery set. Would be great to have the recipe for Pfeffernuesse, Magenbrot, Ginger Star Cookies. Thanks!

Anh said...

You have done an amazing job! I don't know if I have enough patience to do separate sessions like that.

Anders said...

Deliciously looking, tempting and making my stomach rumble as usual! Wish it was Christmas sooner.
Thanks for all these amazing photos and nice recipes.

Darina said...

Some people hate fruit bread/cake but I love it. I'm going to make some this year. Thanks for explaining the photography--very helpful

Manggy said...

Thanks for sharing your older photos and notes, TK! :) I'm really learning a lot :)

Thorsten said...

I agree Simone, food photography is always changing. And in such time series is is getting obvious. There is a progression, a development in it. As said somewhere else, I'm already planning what to make for christmas. For that I have browsed through old and new journals (some dating back to 2000) and it is very interesting to see the progression there too.

Helene, the molds for the Spekulatius I have from a local christams market. Unfortunately they are hard to find in stores, they are out of fashion. Mainly because cookies like Spekulatius are not that easy and fast to make.

Thanks Anh for the compliment. The sessions posted here are from different years, so each year just one photo shooting too.

Thanks Anders, for your encouraging words.

Darina, I love fruit bread. But I know others who don't like it all. I like to see it this way: more for me.

Thanks Manggy, glad that you like this time series.

Lo said...

This bread brings back great memories for me -- my mother always made dark fruit bread and then soaked it in rum for weeks before the holidays. One of the best parts of the season!

Great to see all the different photos -- the evolution of your craft is evident!

katasia_k said...

I totally adore Fruechterbrot, I never thought it was possible to actually bake one at home, though. Thank you so much for this recipe!

Thorsten said...

Lo, I have never soaked the bread in rum, but I think I will try it. Was it then for dessert? Thanks for the compliments.

Katasz, to make fruit bread is not that difficult. The most difficult part is to cut the dried fruit. The rest is smore a less "throw-together".

Parita said...

Fruit bread sounds delicious!! Love your various versions of fruit bread photographs each one is tempting! I am planning to make a fruit bread very soon, can i reduce the no of eggs to 2?

Thorsten said...

Parita, you will need the eggs. They make the texture for the other ingredients. Otherwise the ingredients will not hold together.

Online Credit Score said...

Oh! We call this fruit cake in Malaysia. I miss eating it!

NIDHYA said...

Fruit bread looks awesome. Nice color and looks rich.