My family loves a good fruit loaf for breakfast, especially on the weekend, lightly toasted and smothered in real old fashioned butter. As fruit loaf is so easy to make, it’s fortunately something we can enjoy often. This recipe makes two loaves, so one for now and one for the freezer, or it could also make a nice gift for a loved one.
- 2 cups sultanas (can substitute with raisins)
- Spray oil
- 18 oz. (4 cups) high protein bread flour (though plain flour will do); more for dusting
- 2 tblsp caster sugar
- 2 tblsp ground cinnamon
- 1 packet (1/4 oz. or 2-1/4 tsp) dry yeast
- 2 tsp cooking salt
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 large egg
- 3 1/2 oz. (7 tblsp) unsalted butter, softened
In a separate bowl, soak the sultanas in hot tap water for five minutes. This step ensures that your bread stays nice and moist, otherwise the sultanas would suck the moisture from the dough mix.
Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon and salt. Then add the milk, egg, water and unsalted butter. Mix for five minutes until the dough turns sticky and elastic. You can do this by hand on the kitchen bench if you don’t have a mixer. Usually I would activate the yeast separately to ensure the dough will rise, but if you have purchased the yeast packet recently, you should be ok.
Add the sultanas and mix through on low speed.
Spray a clean bowl with spray oil and scoop the sticky dough into it. Cover the bowl in cling wrap and leave it in a warm place to double in size (this can take up to an hour).
On a floured kitchen bench hand knead the dough again for five minutes. Divide into two loaves. You can form them into whatever shape you like. I like organic looking round loaves, but you could just as well prepare proper bread loaf tins for more upright bread.
Once formed, leave them to rise again for another 30 minutes on baking trays.
Preheat the oven to 190C (375F). Bake the loaves for 35 minutes. The best way to test whether your loaves are ready is to tap the bottom of the loaves. If they sound hollow, they’re done.
Let them cool a bit before slicing and eating. To make this even more special, you could turn this into French toast. Hmmn yes please.