Let’s Call it a Fruit Loaf.

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I’m a sucker for a good fruit bread.

On our recent travels down the south coast of NSW we stopped for a coffee and something to eat at the marvellous Heritage Bakery  in Milton. The array of breads and pastries and cakes was magnificent.

I limited myself to only one loaf of something and that something was a fig and cranberry sour dough bread. What a choice it was. It was one of the nicest fruit breads I’ve had in a very long time. Big juicy pieces of fig and little tart cranberries. It was perfect.

No, I haven’t got a recipe for that dreamy fruit loaf, yet…. but I’ll share when I do…

I found this recipe in Elizabeth David’s English Bread and Yeast Cookery, which is The Cookbook Guru‘s book of the month.

It’s called Northumbrian Harvest Tea Cake, but once you look at the recipe it’s just a fancy name for Fruit Loaf.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious, but these days we call it fruit loaf and here’s a simple version of the recipe.

For 1 big loaf you’ll need:-

450g bakers’ Flour

1/2 tsp salt

30g castor sugar

15g dried yeast

150g warm milk

75g warm water

60g butter – melted

1 egg – lightly beaten

40g currants

1 tsp mixed spice or nutmeg

 

In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, currants and mixed spice.

In a small bowl or jug mix the milk, water and butter together. Make sure it is still warm otherwise the yeast won’t work, then pour into the flour mix with the egg.

Mix until it comes together then tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6 – 8 minutes until smooth and elastic. Put back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Now tip the dough back out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes then divide into three equal pieces.

Roll the pieces into a long thin sausage shapes the same length and lay them side by side. Pinch the tops together firmly then braid the lengths.

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Leave on a baking paper lined baking tray in a warm place, loosely covered, for about 40 – 45 minutes.

Bake in a hot 220oC oven for 15 minutes then I found I had to turn the loaf over and cook for another 5 minutes to cook the underside till brown.

Leave to cool for a few minutes before ripping into chunks and devouring.

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At least that’s how it went in our house…

Please Enjoy…

 

 

 

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Homemade Lebanese Bread

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So here’s the deal. I went for my walk this morning with the idea of stopping off at the shops afterwards and picking up a couple of things for tonight’s dinner. Sounds reasonable right? I thought it was.

Three different shops I stopped at didn’t have fresh Lebanese bread though they usually do.

Home I trudge with the things I did manage to purchase and the thought that I’d just have to go back out later to the bakery two suburbs over and buy my bread. The thing is I got lazy so instead decided to make my own. That’s right….I’m never too lazy to bake.

Well I found myself a recipe and am now very pleased with myself.

What you’ll need:-

2 cups bakers flour

1 1/2 tsp dried yeast

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp sugar

1 3/4 cup warm water (not hot)

What to do with the the above ingredients:-

Put them all into a big bowl (if you’re not sure your yeast is good, blend it with the water, salt and sugar and leave it for 10 minutes until it is frothy. If it isn’t frothy, my friend, you need to buy yeast). Mix all together then knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Put in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm draft free place to prove for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. (I use the oven)

After the dough has doubled in size cut into 4 or 6 equal portions (depending on if you prefer big or small bread) and shape into balls. Drape the plastic wrap over the portions and leave to rest 20 minutes more.

Turn the oven on to the hottest it will go and make sure one of the shelves is in the middle.

Take one portion of dough at a time and roll out very thinly, 0.5mm. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 3 minutes, turn over cook 1 minute more.Image

I cooked one at a time but if you have a bigger oven than I do (which wouldn’t be hard) do more.

The best part is watching the dough puff up. Maybe that’s just me…

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Anyway… I’m very happy with how they came out. I think even mum would be…

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By the way dinner was Koussa ma’hshi, which I posted a recipe for a few months ago. Take another look.

Enjoy…