Each member of the family gets a slice. Great interest is taken in the outcome as there is something special baked inside. A pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a coin and a ring might all be baked inside the bread.

The one who gets the pea will not marry. The one who gets the stick will have an unhappy marriage. The piece of cloth foretells poverty. The coin indicates riches. And finally, the finder of the ring will marry within the year.

1/2 a cup of milk
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of fresh yeast
2 cups of plain flour
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
pinch of salt
1 egg
3 tablespoons of butter
2 cups of mixed fruit (raisins, candied fruit peel, etc.)
2 tablespoons of sugar

1. Put the yeast, sugar and milk together in a bowl; beat until the milk becomes frothy.

2. Put the flour, sugar and spice in a separate bowl, and then incorporate the butter with your fingers. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl with the flour, and beat the ingredients together for 5 minutes, or until dough forms.

3. Knead the dough for two minutes, then work in the fruit and salt. Place the dough in a warm bowl, cover with a towel, and allow it to rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size.

4. Knead the dough again and place in a floured/greased 8 inch diameter cake pan; allow an extra 25 minutes of rising time.

5. Bake at 400°F on the top rack of the oven, for 30-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the cake's center comes out clean.

6. Glaze the finished cake with a simple sugar syrup made from 2 teaspoons of sugar dissolved in 3 teaspoons of boiling water, if you like.

Tips

Once the cake has finished baking, allow it to cool in the pan for ten minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack or cake plate.

The sugar syrup is optional; the cake tastes perfectly fine without it.

The best type of fruit to use in the sweet bread is dried fruit.