December is just around the corner, which makes it the perfect time to start testing your Christmas baking skills, with a winter warmer recipe that's sure to fill your home with a gloriously festive aroma. To help you do just that, our featured recipe for this week is this Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf, created by Sammie over at Feasting is Fun
Here at British Bakeware, we always look forward to seeing what delicious creations Sammie will be whipping up next, and luckily for us, the feeling is mutual. Sammie loves using our 3lb Farmouse Loaf Tin to bake savoury and sweet creations over on her blog, and this latest spiced loaf is sure to be a real treat for those who try it!
Filled with dried fruits and Christmas spices, this brioche style loaf is a treat for all the senses, from it's mouth-watering taste to its soft crumb texture!
To find out how to make this festive loaf as a pre-Christmas treat, or as your Christmas morning breakfast, check out the full details for Sammie's recipe here
- 2 large, free range eggs
- Approx 320mls of whole milk
- 1tsp caster sugar
- 7g of easy bake dried yeast
- 500g/1lb/2oz strong
- 50g/2oz unsalted butter - at room temp and cut into cubes (plus extra for greasing)
- 7g salt
- 1tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2tsp ground ginger
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 1tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2tsp allspice
- 100g/4oz medjool dates
- 100g/4oz dried cranberries
- 50g/2oz glacé cherries
- 1 egg whisked with a teaspoon of water for egg wash
Step 1 - Measure out 320mls of milk into a microwavable jug, and zap on full power for 20 secs. Stir and check the temperature, which should be at body temperature. If it is a little too warm, leave to one side to cool.
Step 2 - Into the slightly warmed milk, add 2 whole eggs, which should create a total volume of 350 mls. Tip away an excess milk.
Step 3 - Pour the milk and eggs into the large bowl of a stand mixer.
Step 4 - Next add the sugar a yeast, before stirring with a spoon to break up the eggs and mix the ingredients.
Step 5 - Now add the flour on top of the liquid ingredients. This forms a barrier so that the yeast does not come into contact with the salt.
Step 6 - Add the salt and cubes of butter.
Step 7 - Fit the dough hook, and mix on a slow speed for 10 mins.
Step 8 - While this is mixing, prep the fruit. Remove the stones from the dates and cut in half, before cutting each half into 4 pieces. Cut the cherries into quarters, before placing the cherries, dates and cranberries in a bowl together.
Step 9 - After 10 mins, stop the mixer and lift the dough hook, and stretch a small piece of dough. It is properly kneaded when it can stretch without tearing, thinly enough to see light through it.
Step 10 - If the dough tears, lower the hook, and continue mixing for a further 2 minutes, after which test it again.
Step 11 - Once the dough passes the test, add the fruit and spices, before lowering the hook, and mixing on a low speed for a further 2 mins.
Step 12 - After the fruit is incorporated, stop the mixer and lift the dough hook.
Step 13 - Use clean hands to crape out the dough and place it into a bowl.
Step 14 - Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel, and place it somewhere warm, and away from drafts. Leave to double in size.
Step 15 - Due to the spices, the action of the yeast may slow, so this could take up to 2hrs or more.
Step 16 - While proving, thoroughly grease your loaf tin with butter.
Step 17 - Once the dough is ready, scrape onto a lightly floured surface.
Step 18 - Press the dough into a rough rectangular shape, folding the bottom third up, and the top third down, so that it slightly overlaps the previous fold.
Step 19 - Finally, tuck either side under, leaving you with an oval-ish shape. Place into the loaf tin, and cover with the tea towel again leaving to double in size once more.
Step 20 - While the dough is proving, preheat the over to 240C/22C fan, gas mark 8.
Step 21 - Once dough is ready, remove the towel and prush over the egg wash, using a pastry brush.
Step 22 - Place into the centre of a preheated oven, and bake for ten mins, before reducing to 220C/200C fan. Continue to bake for 20 mins.
Step 23 - Turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack, and rap the base of the loaf with your knuckle. The bread is baked if it produces a hollow sound. If not, place back into the oven, and check every 5 mins until baked.
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