Is there anything more delicious than warm homemade fruit bread, glistening with melted butter?
Here’s Jo Richardson’s step-by-step foolproof guide.
Golden Raisin, Apricot
And Fig Bread
Makes 1 loaf
– Golden Raisins*: 100 g
– Currants: 100 g
– Apricots: 60 g (dried & chopped)
– Fresh Dates: 6 (pitted and roughly torn)
– Dried figs: 60 g ( very thinly sliced using kitchen scissors)
– Maple Syrup: 3 tablespoon
– Bread/high-protein flour: 135g (1 cup)
– Wholemeal plain flour: 135g (1 cup)
– Good pinch salt
– Sachet dried yeast: 1 x 7g
– Ground cinnamon: 2 tablespoon
– Ground cardamom: 1 tablespoon
– Warm water: 250ml (1 cup)
– Vegetable oil (light olive, sunflower, etc): 1½ tablespoon
– Extra figs, for studding (optional)
– 1 Egg whisked with 1 teaspoon milk extra wholemeal flour for dusting
– Place the raisins, currants, apricots, dates and figs in a bowl. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup and stir well to lightly coat the fruit in the syrup. Cover and set aside.
– Attach the mixing bowl and flat beater to the KitchenAid Stand Mixer. Place the flours, salt, yeast and spices into the mixing bowl. Turn to speed 1 and mix for 10 seconds to combine well. In a jug, combine the warm water, oil and remaining maple syrup.
– Turn the mixer to speed 2 and add the liquid. Mix for 10 seconds or until a dough begins to form. Change to the dough hook.
– Knead on speed 2 for 7 minutes or until the dough is very smooth and elastic. (If the dough is very sticky, scatter extra flour around the outside of the bowl during the kneading.)
– Turn off the Stand Mixer, add the dried fruits and knead on speed 2 until mixed through.
– Using lightly floured hands, remove the dough and form into a ball. Place into a lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover with clean tea towel.
– Set aside in a draught-free warm place for about 1–1 ½ hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
– Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan-forced). Line a small baking tray with
– Using lightly ” oured hands, punch the dough down and remove from the bowl.
– Hand knead lightly for about 5 seconds, shape and mould into a rustic oval shape. Lightly cover the loaf with the clean tea towel and place back into a warm draught-free place for 45 minutes or until well risen.
– Working quickly, stud the top with the extra figs (if desired), pushing them into the dough a little. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the egg wash and scatter over a little extra wholemeal flour.
– Place the tray quickly into the lower third of the oven. Using a spray bottle, spray several spurts of water into the base of the oven and quickly shut the door. (This creates steam, giving the bread a good crust and texture.)
– Bake for 25 minutes or until very golden. When tapped on the sides and base the bread should sound hollow.
– Golden raisins are very plump and juicy, light-colored raisins. They are available from delicatessens and specialty stores.
– Bread flour has a higher protein content than standard flour. It produces a superior result. Sold at all supermarkets and specialty stores.
– Take care not to ‘kill’ the yeast. The warm water should be warm enough to activate the dried yeast but not destroy it.
– The Fruit can burn on the outside of the bread. Ensure the oven temperature is no higher than 190° C. If the fruit does begin to burn, cover the loaf with foil and continue baking.