The flavour of this loaf was inspired by a new range of artisan breads at my local supermarket. The loaf that caught my eye was a rosemary and sultana, but as delicious as it was, I thought my bake would benefit from some added extras. The soft sweetness of the dates and the denseness of prunes make this loaf extra soft and moreish. One again, I have added the fruit and herb at the beginning, rather than after the first prove, for a more even distribution. This doesn't really affect the rise, it just means you will have a longer proving time. Serve this loaf with some soft goats cheese, or toasted with jam for breakfast.
Makes 1 medium loaf.
For the loaf:
1 large sprig fresh rosemary (or 2 tablespoons of the dried stuff)
50 dried prunes, chopped into small chunks
50g chopped dates
400g strong white flour
7g dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
Place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the yeast.
Add the salt, rosemary, dried fruits and water (click here to find out how to add your water) and mix to form a dough, adding more water if it feels a little dry.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for around 10 minutes, or until the dough feels more elastic.
Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel.
Leave the dough to prove for around an hour and a half, or until it has doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, shape it into your desired loaf shape and place onto a lined baking tray.
Cover again and leave to rise for about 40 minutes, or until the loaf has noticeably puffed up.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees c.
When the loaf is ready, make a few slashes in the top with a sharp knife.
Bake the loaf for around 25 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown, and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool on a wire rack before serving.