I was inspired to make this loaf by the recipe I've seen in April issue of bbcgoodfood magazine.. In fact, I wanted to follow the original recipe (by James Martin) to begin with but then I changed my mind and made it in my way using James' recipe as a guideline..
285 g strong white flour , plus extra for dusting
7 g sachet fast action yeast
35 g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
90 ml warm milk
1 egg , beaten
30 g unsalted butter , melted, plus extra for greasing
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
60g sultanas + raisins
40g dried prunes , chopped
40g pitted dates , chopped
40g glacé cherries , chopped
juice 1/2 orange
some milk to brush
1. Soak the dried fruits in the orange juice for about 30 mins, then sieve, reserving the juice.
2. Put the flour, yeast, caster sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl with the spices and mix well. Add 30 ml of the reserved orange juice to the warm milk ,then pour into the flour mixture together with the beaten egg and the melted butter. Using dough hook to mix everything together to form a dough. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it's too wet, add more flour.
3. Knead the dough with the hook until the dough becomes smooth and elastic about 15-20 minutes. Turn out onto the working surface and gradually mix in the soaked fruits. Knead gently until incorporated. At this point the dough might become sticky because of liquid from the fruits, so add some flour ( I used about 1/4 cup) if it's too wet to deal with. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size , 1-2 hours depending on how warm the room is.
4. Knock the dough back by kneading for a few secs. Grease 2lb loaf tin with butter and line the base with parchment paper ( easy to lift out the loaf after baked ) . Use a little flour to help you shape each half into a smooth oval, then pop it into the tin. Cover loosely with a greased cling film and tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about 30-45 mins. Meanwhile, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
5. Brush the top with some milk ( if you want it shiny, then use egg+milk instead ) and bake for 25-30 mins until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped , then cool in the tins for 5-10 minutes before turning out and slicing.
Ps. this bread has been sent to yeastspotting hosted by Susan of Wild Yeast.