This well-filled fruit loaf stays moist for a few days and is a good breakfast bread

A forgotten piece in the corner of the bread bin, discovered after a few days, makes nice toast. If you double the recipe, the second loaf can be frozen for another time.

 

MAKES 1 LOAF

350 g/12 oz/2⅓ cups strong white (bread) flour

1¾ tsp easy-blend (active dry) yeast

2 tsp sugar

¾ tsp salt

1⁄2 tsp ground cardamom or zest of 1⁄2 lemon

55 g/2 oz/½ stick butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 egg, beaten

about 150 ml/5 fl oz/⅔ cup milk, warmed

100 g/3½  oz/2⁄3 cup currants

55 g/2 oz/⅓ cup sultanas (golden raisins)

2 tbsp dried cranberries

1 tbsp candied orange peel

EQUIPMENT:

450 g/1 lb loaf tin, greased

Place all the ingredients except the fruit in a large bowl. Mix to moisten the dry ingredients and knead thoroughly until smooth and supple. This may be done either by hand or using a mixer fitted with a dough hook, to make a soft dough. Bring the dough together in a ball, then cover the bowl with cling-film (plastic wrap) or a damp tea towel (dish towel), and set aside in a warm, draught-free place until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, rinse the currants and sultanas in hot water. Drain the fruit, then pat dry with paper towels and leave in a warm place with the cranberries and orange peel until needed.

Knock back the risen dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead the fruit thoroughly into the dough. Roll or flatten the dough into a rectangle that is as wide as your tin is long, and about 1 cm/1⁄2 in thick. Roll up the dough, starting at a short side, and pinch the seam to seal.

Grease the tin. Place the dough roll seam-side down in the tin and remove any loose fruit from the surface, or it will burn while baking. Cover the loaf loosely with lightly oiled cling-film and leave in a warm, draught-free place until almost doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. To test, remove the loaf from the tin. Tap sharply on the top and bottom; it should sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack.

The featured recipe is from Warm Bread and Honey Cake by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra

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