Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Fruit Loaf

After baking so many muffins, I'm back to bread. It's a sweet bread.
I love cooked dried fruit because of the burst of flavour you get. For this loaf I used 100g of dried fruit.
The dough looked almost overwelmed by the quantity of fruit, but when the loaf came out of the oven and I sliced it, I thought to myself.... hmmm I could have put more fruit in it. What do you think? It's really up to personal taste, isn't it? I just love fruit, so I'll try to add more fruit next time. However, I have to be careful to make a balance between the dough and fruit as the bread needs to rise properly, otherwise the bread will end up being a heavy dumpling.
How about adding some walnuts as well? I think dried fruit and walnuts are a great combo. :)

Ingredients 
  • 250g Strong Bread flower ( I used white flour)
  • 1 tsp Fast-action dried yeast
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar 
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 175ml lukewarm water
  • 100g Mixed dried fruit 
Method
  1. Make the dough by tipping the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and making a well in the middle. Pour in most of the water and use your fingers or a wooden spoon to mix the flour and water together until combined to a slightly wet, pillowy, workable dough - add a splash more water if necessary. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for at least 10 mins until smooth and elastic. This can also be done in a tabletop mixer with a dough hook. Place the dough in a clean oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size.
  2. Knock back the dough by tipping it back onto a floured surface and pushing the air out. Knead in the dried fruit to the dough.  Mould the dough into a rugby ball shape and place it on a baking tray. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for 30 mins. Dust the top of the loaf with a little more flour and slash the top with a sharp knife if you want.
  3. Heat oven to 220°C / fan 200°C / gas 7.
  4. Pour hot water onto the bottom of the oven or into a dish at the bottom of the oven to create steam. 
  5. Bake the bread for 15 mins, then reduce the heat to 190°C / fan 170°C / gas 5 and continue to bake for 30 mins until the loaf sounds hollow when removed from the oven and tapped on the base. Leave the bread on a wire rack to cool completely.