FRUIT TEA LOAF
Personally the loaf is best served spread with margarine and layered with mature cheddar. The spices of cinnamon, all spice in combination with the dried fruit are perfect. The loaf will keep for a few days in an air tight container.
- 2 Tea Bags
- 200ml Boiling Water
- 250g Dried Prunes (Finely Chopped)
- 80g Sultanas
- 80g Currants
- 60g Unsalted Butter
- 60g Lard
- 300g Strong White Bread Flour
- 300g Plain Flour
- 7g Fast-Action Dried Yeast
- 100g Soft Light Brown Sugar
- 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Ground Allspice
- 1 Tsp Sea Salt
- 2 Medium Eggs (Lightly Beaten)
Tip Shaping Dough Into A Boule –
- Round the dough a bit in your hands.
- Flatten the dough out slightly. Bring both sides of the dough into the middle so it creates an envelope. Squeeze the two sides together, so it creates a tight surface on the opposite side. (This will allow the dough to hold its shape when it rises)
- With the sealed envelope facing your work surface using both hands in a cupping around the dough continue to shape into a ball pulling down towards the dough , to create a smooth dome on the top surface.
- Set the dough aside somewhere to rise before baking.
- Put the teabags in a mixing bowl and pour over the boiling water. Add the dried fruit and set aside to steep.
- Meanwhile, in a separate large mixing bowl, rub the butter and lard into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. (This will look like a crumble mixture) Stir in the yeast, sugar, spices and salt.
- Remove and discard the tea bags, then stir the eggs into the fruit/tea mixture. Tip it all into the flour mixture and mix to bring it together into a ball using a wooden spoon. Cover with cling film, then leave in a warm place for 10 minutes.
- Turn out the dough onto a clean surface, then gently knead for 3-4 minutes. It will be sticky and very heavy.
- Put the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place to rise for 1½ hours.
- Tip the dough onto the work surface and gently knead to remove any large air pockets. Shape into a boule. (See Tip Above) Drop it in the tin, then press it gently down. Leave to prove for 1 hour 10 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 170°C /gas 5. Bake the loaf for 55 minutes or until risen and golden brown. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool before serving.