Ingredients (for 1lb loaf tin)
250g/1lb strong white flour (bread flour) plus extra for dusting
1 x 7g/¼oz sachet fast-action dried yeast
120ml/10fl oz milk
25g/¾ oz butter
1 medium egg
1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
150g/5oz dried mixed fruit
1 tsp veg oil to grease the bowl
2 tbsp apricot jam
1 tbsp demerara sugar
Preparation Time 25min plus proving 1 1/2 - 2hours
Cooking Time 20-25 minutes
Oven Temperature 190C / 375F / Gas 5
A fruit loaf is lovely sliced and toasted with a generous amount of butter! This is a nice alternative to a fruit bun or tea cake.
The preparation is similar to Chelsea and hot cross buns except the loaf doesn’t contain spice. Of course, if you like to add spice such as cinnamon then you can. An additional favourite is to add a dice apple. If adding apple, peel and cut into small cubes the size of a raisin. Use a Gala or Braeburn not a cooking apple like Granny Smith as you may use for an apple pie.
The dough is now as an enriched dough and this type of dough does take longer to raise than a standard dough used to make a bread or rolls so give the dough the time it needs to develop.
Place the dried fruit into a mug or container and cover with hot water and put aside. Leave 20min before making the dough. This will plump up the fruit and make them soft, ideal for a fruit loaf or any fruit bun.
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and then add the yeast.
Drain the fruit from the warm water and add the fruit to the flour.
Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter melts and the mixture is lukewarm and add 1 ½ -2 tsp caster sugar.
Add the milk mixture and egg to the flour mixture and stir until the contents of the bowl come together as a soft dough. (add a little extra flour if needed)
Tip the dough onto a floured work surface and knead for five minutes, add extra flour if necessary. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer feels sticky.
Lightly oil a clean bowl with a little of the vegetable oil. Place the dough into the bowl and cover the bowl with cling film. Place the bowl in a warm place for one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Leave the dough to prove for 1 ½ - 2 hours. Note if making a larger version for a 2lb loaf tine i.e double the size prove may take slightly longer.
Once the dough has at least doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and knock it back to its original size and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. By doing this it will remove any large air pockets.
Form the loaf into a ball and the slightly roll out to form a loaf shape and place in a well-greased loaf tin.
Place the tin and dough into a proving bag (Loose plastic bag) and allow the dough to rise for the second time this will take appropriately 20-25min.
Once risen lightly brush the top with milk and bake in a preheat oven to 190C / 375F / Gas 5 for 20-25 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.
Meanwhile, for the glaze, heat the jam, sugar in a saucepan until boiling and then remove from the heat. Remove the loaf from the oven and baking tin and place it on a wire rack. Brush the top with the glaze NA leave the loaf to fully cool before slicing and eating