I had some oranges and lemons in my fridge that I needed to use up today. I found this easy iced fruit loaf recipe that would use up a few of each so I decided to give it a try. The original recipe uses raisins and dried apricots. I had some dried blueberries and cranberries so I used those instead. This dough is a heavy, wet dough with all the added fruit. It’s mixed in a standing mixer on low to medium speed instead of kneading by hand. I made this as one large loaf instead of dividing the dough in two. Next time, I will divide it. Leaving it as one huge loaf took much longer to bake evenly through. The hardest part for me when I bake bread is being patient. Patience was something I had little of today and it showed in my bread. I didn’t let the bread prove long enough the second time. It was delicious, but dense. BE PATIENT! A slow rise yields better bread. Your finished product will be worth the wait I promise. Happy Baking. 🙂
Iced Fruit Loaf
Makes 1 large loaf or two little ones/bake at 400 F for 20 -30 min (cook time varies on how many loaves) until golden brown and hollow sounding/This is my version of a Paul Hollywood recipe from his book ‘How to Bake’
500 g Bread Flour
10 g salt
10 g instant yeast
40 g softened, unsalted butter
50 g caster sugar (bakers’ sugar, superfine sugar)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
110 ml warm milk
110 ml cool water
100 g cranberries
20 g dried blueberries
Zest of 1 1/2 oranges
½ tsp cinnamon
100 g icing sugar, sifted
Zest of one lemon
2-3 tsp water
**this is a rich, sticky dough. I would use a standing mixer on low to medium to incorporate ingredients. You may choose any dried fruit of your choice.
- Put the flour into the mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt to one side of bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the butter, sugar, eggs, milk and half the water. Begin mixing on low speed. As the dough starts to come together, slowly add the remaining water. Carry on mixing on a medium speed until the dough is elastic and soft to the touch. If it still looks unmixed or breaks easily when you tug on it, mix for a further 2 min. Add the dried fruits, zest and cinnamon and mix until incorporated.
- Cover the bowl and leave to rise until it has doubled in size. Leave at least 1 hour, can be left for 2 or even 3.
- Line a baking tray with silicone slip mat or baking parchment.
- Tip the dough onto your lightly floured work surface. Fold the dough inwards repeatedly until all the air is knocked out. You can now divide into 2 pieces and put one ball on each baking sheet. Or shape into a loaf on one sheet. I haven’t tried a loaf pan yet but I’m sure that would work as well if you’ve divided the dough in two pieces.
- Put the tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to prove for another hour or until doubled. Keep air in bag so it doesn’t touch the dough. Preheat your oven to 400 F
- When the dough is ready, bake for 20-30 min until the dough sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, or has an internal temp of 192- 200 degrees. Put on wire rack to cool when done.
- For the icing. Put the icing sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl and slowly whisk in the water, a few drops at a time, until mixture is the consistency of batter. Brush mixture over top of warm loaf and leave to cool.
NOTE: Most breads are done baking when internal temperature is 190 degrees. Those enriched with eggs and butter are done when closer to 200 degrees. If you aren’t sure if done baking it’s always better to bake longer then not long enough. If the top of your bread is getting too dark cover loosely with tin foil until finished. A digital thermometer combined with the hollow tap test is how I check my breads.
Here’s a link to the basics of bread making from Paul Hollywood, judge on The Great British Baking Show. khttps://youtu.be/Wnxn_7bjlNk