Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
2 cups nonfat milk
3 envelopes active dry yeast, (3 tablespoons)
2 cups whole-wheat flour, divided
2 cups nonfat cottage cheese,pressed
⅔ cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried currants
1 cup chopped candied orange, lemon and/or citron peel
¼ cup toasted blanched almonds, (see Tip)
Heat milk until steaming; pour into a large mixing bowl and let cool until lukewarm. Sprinkle in yeast and let stand until dissolved, 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup whole-wheat flour, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until foamy, about ½ hour.
Puree cottage cheese in a food processor. Stir the pureed cottage cheese, sugar, eggs, egg whites, ¼ cup oil, lemon zest and salt into the yeast mixture. Gradually beat in, with a wooden spoon, the remaining 1 cup whole-wheat flour and enough of the all-purpose flour to make a soft, sticky dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, sprinkle raisins, currants, candied peel and almonds over it and knead until the fruits and nuts are evenly distributed and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding just enough additional all-purpose flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat it with oil. Cover with plastic and let rise until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.
Punch the dough down and knead for about 1 minute on a lightly floured board. Divide it into 4 portions. Roll each portion into an 8½-by-10-inch oval. With the side of your hand, crease the dough down its length just off center. Fold the smaller side over the larger and place the loaves at least 4 inches apart on two large, lightly oiled baking sheets. Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over the top of the loaves. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake the loaves, one sheet at a time, until tops are golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped, 30 to 35 minutes.
Make Ahead Tip: Store well-wrapped in the freezer for up to 1 month ahead. To reheat, wrap frozen loaves loosely in foil and heat at 300°F for 30 to 40 minutes.
To toast whole almonds: Spread almonds on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes.