There is something about the cold weather which makes homemade bread even more welcoming.
Fruit bread with a cup of tea in the afternoon just makes me feel grateful for my lovely warm office in the comfort of my own home.
And fortunately it’s a great one for getting the children involved with too. Choosing the fruit and trying out new spices is a part of the fun of this recipe. Added to the excitement as the dough seemingly magically doubles in size by being in the airing cupboard creates some interesting conversations.
- 50g chopped, dried apricots
- 50g raisins
- 50g dried cranberries
- 50g chopped, dried mangoes
- 50g chopped, glace cherries
- 200ml orange juice
- 500g strong white flour
- 50g caster sugar
- 1tsp mixed spice
- 1.5tsp cinnamon
- 14g fast active yeast
- 50g melted, unsalted butter
- 150mls semi-skimmed milk
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- Additional oil for greasing and flour for dusting
- Soak the fruit in orange juice for 30mins, sieve the fruit and reserve the juice.
- Combine the flour, sugar, spices and yeast in a mixing bowl.
- Create a well, and add the melted butter, milk, orange juice and beaten egg.
- Gradually combine the dry mix into the liquid with a wooden spoon and as the dough forms tip onto a floured surface and begin kneading until the dough becomes soft and springy.
- Lightly oil the mixing bowl and cover with lightly oiled cling film or a damp tea towel.
- Place in a warm place (airing cupboard) for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Knock the dough back and divide in two.
- Dust two loaf tins and shape the dough into ovals, place the dough into the tins, cover with a damp tea towel and return to prove for 30mins.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
- Bake the loaves for 20mins, with a golden brown appearance.
- Remove from oven, leave to cool before removing from the tins.
- Cut into slices and enjoy with butter.