Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

Christmas is only four weeks away and I am thoroughly enjoying the build up. Especially when it comes to creating new recipes to share with you here. Food is a big part of our Christmas, with tradition dictating our ham is cooked on Christmas Eve, as well as fresh sausage rolls and mince pies. This year there will definitely be a Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf on offer for breakfast on the big day itself. Filling the house with scents of Christmas spice, as it is sliced and toasted.

FF Spiced Christmas Fruit Loaf
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf delicious toasted for breakfast.

Packed full of dried fruits including dates, cherries and cranberries, in a brioche style loaf. The added milk, eggs and butter used in a Brioche give it a wonderfully soft crumb. Perfect for eating sliced as is, or toasted and slathered in butter. This loaf really does smell and taste of Christmas.

FF Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf egg wash gives the bronzed, glossy top when baked.

Using the best Medjool Dates from The Medjool Date Company, certainly enhances the taste of this loaf. While sweeter than my Spiced Fruit Loaf, it does not hold back on the Christmas spices of Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and Allspice. Resulting in the most amazing aroma, filling the kitchen and then the house, as this beautifully bronzed loaf bakes.

FF Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf perfect with a cup of tea mid afternoon.

Baked in the British Bakeware, 3lb Farmhouse Loaf Tin, this fruited bread never sticks. The deep sides of the tin ensure the dough is supported as it rises. Resulting in an evely risen loaf, without a muffin top. The advantage being, a great shaped loaf that is easy to slice and the slices fit in the toaster. Without exception, this loaf tin is my most used and most treasured piece of kitchen bakeware.

Recipe: Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

2 Large Free Range Eggs

Approx 320mls Whole Milk – to make volume to 350mls when added to eggs

1tsp Caster Sugar

7g Easy Bake Dried Yeast – I use Allinson in the green container/sachets

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Flour

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature and cut into cubes plus extra for greasing the loaf tin

7g Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Nielsen-Massey

2tsp Ground Cinnamon

1tsp Ground Ginger

1tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg

1/2tsp Ground Allspice

100g/4oz Medjool Dates – I like The Medjool Date Co.

100g/4oz Dried Cranberries

50g/2oz Glacé Cherries

1 Egg whisked with a teaspoon of water for the egg wash

Method:

A stand mixer was used to make and knead the dough for this loaf. You may choose to make this by hand, however, the dough is incredibly sticky. A mixer is recommended.

  • Measure out 320mls of milk into a microwaveable jug. Zap on full power for 20 seconds. Stir and check the temperature, it should be the same as body temperature. If it is a little too warm set to one side to cool.
  • Into the slightly warmed (not fridge cold) milk add 2 whole eggs. The volume should be 350mls. Tip away any small excess of milk.
  • Pour the milk and eggs into the large bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Next add the sugar and yeast. Stir with a sooon to break up the eggs and mix the ingredients.
  • Now add the flour, on top of the liquid ingredients. This forms a barrier so that the yeast does not come into direct contact with the next addition, salt.
  • Add the salt and cubes of butter.
  • Fit a dough hook to the stand mixer and mix on a slow speed for 10 minutes.
  • While the dough is mixing prepare the fruit; remove stones from the dates and cut in half, cut each half into four pieces. Next cut each glacé cherry into quarters. Place the cranberries, cherries and dates in a bowl together.
  • After 10 minutes of mixing, stop the mixer and lift the dough hook. Remove a small piece of dough and stretch it. The dough is properly kneaded when it can stretch, without tearing, thinly enough to see light through it. This is called the windowpane test. If the dough tears, lower the dough hook and continue mixing for a further 2 minutes, after which test it again.
  • Once the dough passes the windowpane test, add the fruit and spices.
  • Lower the dough hook and mix again on low speed for a further 2 minutes.
  • After the fruit is incorporated stop the mixer and lift the dough hook.
  • Use clean fingers to scrape the dough from the hook and place it in the bowl.
FF Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
The prepared fruit and dough ready for it’s first prove.
  • Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and place it somewhere warm and away from draughts.
  • Now leave the dough to double in size.
  • NOTE: The presence of spices will slow down the action of the yeast. Therefore, the dough may take longer, up to 2 hours or more, to double in size.
  • While the dough is proving thoroughly grease a 3lb deep farmhouse loaf tin with butter.
  • When the dough has at least doubled in size, scrape it out on to a lightly floured surface.
  • Press the dough into a rough rectangular shape. Now fold the bottom third up and then fold the top third down, so that it slightly overlaps the previous fold.
  • Finally, tuck either end under, so that you have an oval-ish shape. Place the shaped dough into the buttered loaf tin. Cover with the same tea towel as before and leave, as before until doubled in size.
  • While the dough is proving preheat the oven to 240C/22C fan, gas mark 8.
  • Once the dough has doubled or even trebled in size, remove the tea towel. Using a pastry brush lightly brush over the egg wash.
FF Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf ready for the oven.
  • Now place the loaf carefully into the centre of the preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes before reducing the oven heat to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.
  • Continue baking for a further 20 minutes and then remove the loaf from the oven.
  • Turn the loaf out on to a cooling rack. Rap the base of the loaf with your knuckle. The bread is baked if the rapping produces a hollow sound. If not, place the loaf, on its side back in the oven and check every 5 minutes until it is fully baked.
FF Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf fresh from the oven.

Allow the Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf to fully cool before slicing.

This fruited loaf will last for 3 days in a proper bread bin. Serve sliced, as is, or slice and toast for a delicious, fruit and spice filled breakfast. A perfect treat for the build up to Christmas, or even on Christmas Day itself.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf you may also like these:

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

FF Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

FF Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake

FF Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake

Since you are setting the stand mixer up to make this fruited loaf, why not double up the ingredients and make two loaves? Sharing is inherently part of Christmas. I can think of no better reason, than to give one loaf away. Surely anyone would be happy to receive the gift of a freshly baked, Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf!

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun and remember food always tastes better when it’s shared.

Sammie xx

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr

Spiced Fruit Loaf

Hi. I have a double treat for you today. This absolutely delicious Spiced Fruit Loaf not only tastes amazing, but, the aroma, gently wafting from the oven, makes the whole house smell incredible. Cinnamon and bread filled with tasty dried fruit, baking together.

Who needs air freshener when you can bake this wonderful Spiced Fruit Loaf,

Spiced Fruit Loaf www.feastingisfun.com
Spiced Fruit Loaf www.feastingisfun.com

If you have never baked bread before, bake this!!

This Spiced Fruit Loaf is stuffed full of dried fruits. Don’t hide raisin haters! Although there are some dried vine fruits in this loaf (which you can absolutely leave out), there’s also dried cranberries and figs. Soft, golden, dried apricots would be a fantastic addition as well.

Spiced Fruit Loaf full of plump, dried fruits. www.feastingisfun.com
Spiced Fruit Loaf full of plump, dried fruits. www.feastingisfun.com

The bread dough is enriched with egg, milk and butter and spiced with cinnamon and ginger. And as if bread baking didn’t smell good enough, this Spiced Fruit Loaf kicks it into another dimension.

My absolute favourite way to enjoy this bread is toasted, for breakfast. As my nose is assaulted with another spice hit as the bread toasts.

Perfect with a cup of good coffee.

Spiced Fruit Loaf toasted for breakfast. www.feastingisfun.com
Spiced Fruit Loaf toasted for breakfast. www.feastingisfun.com

I have been reviewing some baking products from British Bakeware, including their 3lb loaf pan. Having baked a range of breads I wanted to create something that really did the pan justice.

This Spiced Fruit Loaf does!

Spiced Fruit Loaf delicious toasted and buttered. www.feastingisfun.com
Spiced Fruit Loaf delicious toasted and buttered. www.feastingisfun.com

One thick slice of this bread kept me full all morning – and it contains fruit, so it must be good for you. Right???

Everyone in our house was eager to try this tasty breakfast loaf this morning and they were not disappointed. As a mum I’m happier, during these chilly winter months, when they all have a hot breakfast. I honestly do believe it is the most important meal of the day. So why not make it a tasty one??

Recipe: Makes 1 Spiced Fruit Loaf

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour

1 Large Egg – I always use free range

Approx 320ml/ just over 1/2 pint Whole Milk at room temp

1tsp Honey

1 Sachet Fast Action Dried Yeast (7g)

1tsp Salt

75g/3oz Unsalted Butter plus extra for greasing the loaf pan

2tsp Cinnamon

1tsp Ginger

225g/8oz Dried Fruit – I used equal quantities of vine fruits, chopped dried figs and dried cranberries

Method: You will need a 3lb loaf pan.

Crack the egg into a jug. Make up to 340mls/12fl oz with milk. Beat together to break up the egg.

Pour this liquid into the bowl of a bread maker or stand mixer.

Add the honey and yeast.

Next add the flour.

Add the salt to the top of the flour and add the cubed butter.

If using a bread maker start the dough cycle, adding the spices and dried fruit when prompted by the machine, or 5 minutes before the mixing finishes.

If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook. Mix on medium speed until all the ingredients are combined into a dough. Continue mixing for a further 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the dough from the hook, back down into the bowl. Add the spices and dried fruit and continue to mix on medium speed for a further 5 minutes. Stop the mixing and scrape all the dough from the hook. Form into a ball, place back into the mixer bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – approx 1 hour.

Butter the loaf pan and set aside.

When the bread mixer has finished its dough cycle, restart again and allow the machine to mix (knock back) the dough for 2 minutes.

Once the dough in the stand mixer bowl has doubled in size, remove the cloth and mix, with the dough hook attached, on medium speed for 2 minutes. Again this knocks back the dough.

Turn your knocked back dough out onto a floured surface. It will be very sticky.

Form the dough into a rough log shape and place into the prepared loaf pan.

Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – approx 1 hour.

10 minutes before the loaf is ready to be baked preheat the oven to 210C/190C fan.

Spiced Fruit Loaf dough ready for the oven. www.feastingisfun.com
Spiced Fruit Loaf dough ready for the oven. www.feastingisfun.com

Once doubled in size, remove the cloth and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

The loaf is baked when it has a dark, golden crust and sounds hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle.

Turn the loaf out of the pan and place on a cooling rack.

Spiced Fruit Loaf inhale as the scent of spices tantalisingly fills the air! www.feastingisfun.com
Spiced Fruit Loaf inhale as the scent of spices tantalisingly fills the air! www.feastingisfun.com

Leave to cool completely.

I know you want to tear into this Spiced Fruit Loaf the moment it comes outta the oven, but you shouldn’t. The butter and fruit in this loaf make it particularly squidgy whilst warm.

Trust me! Once cooled this baby will slice beautifully.

Enjoy as is, smothered in butter, or toasted and buttered.

Do you always eat breakfast?

If you enjoyed baking this Spiced Fruit Loaf then you may also like these recipes:

English Muffins

English Muffins

Chelsea Buns

FF Spiced Fruit Loaf
Homemade Chelsea Buns

Happy baking.

Sammie xx

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr