This egg rich loaf, part bread, part cake, laden with colourful glacé fruit and flaked almonds is a truly festive bake for religious occasions, such as Easter.
It’s an Austrian recipe, called “Bischofsbrot”, the name alluding to its Christian origins.
I became interested in this recipe after reading about in a publication of Sydney Living Museums, that wonderful organisation that looks after many historic properties in Sydney and NSW. The link to the original recipe is here.
The recipe comes from Rose Seidler’s recipe collection. Rose was the mother of the renowned architect Harry Seidler, whose family emigrated to Australia in 1946. There are a number of Rose’s recipes written in German in the SLM collection.
Curator and colonial gastronomer at SLM, Dr Jacqui Newling has researched and baked the recipe, from a translation by Avril Vorsay. This certainly whetted my appetite to give it a go!
It’s a pretty simple recipe – the hardest part is probably separating the eggs. It’s traditionally baked in a loaf tin, but I baked mine in 16cm/6.5 inch springform tin. This made a higher, round loaf.
Another thing to remember is that you need to wait a day before you cut it. I guess that patience is a virtue!
140g butter, softened, + 1 teaspoon
extra butter to grease the baking pan
140g icing sugar, sifted +extra to dust the loaf after baking
6 eggs, separated
200g glacé fruit, diced*
Zest of 1 small lemon*
100g slivered or blanched almonds
140g plain flour, sifted, + 1 tablespoon extra to dust the fruit
*You can replace the glacé fruit with
a mixture of colourful dried fruit such
as apricots, apples, sultanas and
cranberries, soaked in freshly boiled
water for 15 minutes and then well
drained. Replace the lemon zest with
store-bought mixed peel for
additional citrus flavour, colour and
Note: Bishop’s bread needs to be
made a day before serving.
Preheat oven to 180°C (or 160°C fan forced). Grease the base and sides of a loaf tin* with 1 teaspoon of butter and dust with a little flour.
Cream the butter and icing sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Dust the fruit and zest with a tablespoon of flour and toss to lightly coat the pieces (this helps to prevent them sinking to the bottom of the cake). Stir the fruit and the almonds into the bowl, and fold in half the flour. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold them through the batter with the remaining flour, being careful not to overwork the batter.
Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 40–50 minutes, or until the loaf is nicely browned on top and cooked through. Test by inserting a skewer into the centre of the loaf – the skewer should come out clean and dry.
Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack and dust it with the sifted extra icing sugar.
Note: Once completely cooled, store the loaf overnight in a container covered with a cloth. Do not slice until the next day.
*or round springform cake tin