Thursday, April 05, 2007

Fruit loaf

This bread is HUGE! This is a picture of a half eaten quarter of a slice, just to give you an idea of scale.

Basic loaf:
30g/1oz/3X7g sachets dried yeast
30g/1oz honey (or sugar)
625ml/just over 1 pint tepid water
1kg/just over 2lbs strong bread flour
30g/1oz salt
Some extra flour for dusting

Fruit mixture:
A pinch of ground cinnamon
1 clove, ground
200g/7oz dried apricots
100g/3&3/4 oz dried dates
200g/7oz raisins
Place the fruit mixture into a food processor and chop very finely.

Dissolve the yeast and honey (or sugar) in the tepid water.
Mix the flour and salt, making a well in the middle and pouring in the yeast mixture. Mix together adding in the fruit mixture and forming a dough. Knead for about 5 minutes.
Flour the top of the dough make it into a roundish shape and place it onto a baking tray. Score the top and leave to prove till it doubles in size (probably about 40 minutes). You want a warmish place, and you can cover with cling film to speed the process.
Knock the air out and pack it into a greased and floured bread tin. It should just under fill the tin. Leave it to prove again till it doubles again, then bake at 200c/400f for 50 minutes, remove from the tin and put back into the oven for a final 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

I've been looking into fruit breads lately. So many of them are more cake then bread and I wanted one that would be good for breakfast, or snacks, and wouldn't make the kids nuts with sugar. I found this one in a Jamie Oliver book, and as I trust him implicitly, I went with it.

So glad I found it! SO GOOD! This is great because it uses honey as a sweetner, and although it seems like a lot of honey, if you take the size of the bread into consideration, it's practically none. From the recipe alone it didn't look like it would have all that much flavor, but it was amazing! The spices make the bread all light brown and perfume-y and the bits of fruit are just the perfect amount of sweetness. The crust is really nice too, sort of chewy. This bread is good for everything, breakfast, snack, dessert, whatever. It's just so good that it doesn't need anything on it, although it's amazing with cream cheese too.

I fully and wholeheartedly recommend this bread!

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