Bread and Better

Bread and Better

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Fruit and Nut Loaf with Malt Extract

I did originally want to add black treacle to this loaf, to make it extra dark and sweet, but I didn't happen to have any in, and to be honest, it tasted pretty good without it. I added the fruit and nuts in at the beginning (rather than after the first rise) because I think it guarantees a more even distribution. I don't think this compromises the rise that you get too much, it just means a longer proving time. This bread is perfect for toasting, or served alongside a cheese board. If you happen to have any left over, that's gone a little hard, turn it into a delicious bread and butter pudding.

Makes 1 medium loaf.

For the loaf:
300g strong white flour
7g dried yeast
4 tablespoons malt extract
100g mixed nuts
100g sultanas
50g chopped dates
1 teaspoon salt
200ml water

Place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the yeast.
Add the salt, malt, nuts, dried fruit and water and mix to form a dough (adding more water if it feels a little dry).
Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for around 10 minutes, or until it feels quite soft.
Return the dough to the bowl and cover with e tea-towel.
Leave the dough to rise for around a couple of hours, or until it has doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, shape it into a ball and place onto a lined baking tray.
Cover again, with a tea-towel, and leave to rise for about 30 minutes, or until it has noticeably puffed up.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
When the dough has puffed up, sprinkle the top with a little flour and make a couple of slashes with a sharp knife.
Bake for about 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180 degrees C and bake for a further 15 minutes.
When the loaf is ready it should be a dark golden brown colour and the bottom should sound hollow when tapped.
Cool on a wire rack before serving.

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