Fruit bread
(06 Feb 2020)

Fruit Bread

Fruit bread

 
Recipe by Prue Leith
 
180g Dried fruit (any combination of raisins, sultanas, cranberries, cherries, apricots, prunes, figs, or candied peel)
180g Strong white flour
120g Whole wheat flour
1 Sachet (7g) fast action dried yeast
20g Caster sugar
1 tsp Table salt
1 Large egg, beaten
80ml Tepid whole milk
 
1. Roughly chop the dried fruit so that every piece of fruit is roughly the size of a raisin. Put the fruit into a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over it. Leave it to soak for 20 minutes, then drain it well.
2. Combine all the ingredients, including the soaked fruit, in a mixing bowl. Add 50ml tepid water. Mix it to form a dough, then knead it vigorously by hand for 5–10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic, and
the fruit is well distributed through the dough.
3. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave it at room temperature for 2 hours, giving it a quick knead just to deflate it after the first hour.
4. Heat the oven to 210°C/fan 190°C/gas mark 6–7. Grease the two long sides of a 450g (1lb) loaf tin and line the bottom and short sides with a single long strip of baking parchment.
5. Shape the dough into a loaf and put it into the lined loaf tin, seam-side down. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave at room temperature for 35–45 minutes, until it has puffed up and a finger gently poked into the top of it leaves a dent that springs back slowly.
6. Bake the loaf in the oven on the middle shelf for 15 minutes, then without opening the door, reduce the heat to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 5 and bake it for a further 25 minutes. It should then be puffed up and golden. Remove it from the tin and tap the bottom. It should sound hollow when tapped on the base.
7. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack before serving or freezing. Divide the mixture evenly into the muffin cups of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. When cooked, remove from the muffin pan. Serve with your favourite jam and freshly whipped cream.

 

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