Fruity loaf

Fruity loaf

At Home with Ben
1 loaf
Mark Roper

My mate Jamie Oliver makes great bread – it must be because of all those lessons from Gennaro! This recipe is a nod to Jamie’s recipe, though I prefer slightly different fruit in my loaf. The addition of seeds and nuts is always a good option, especially flax and sunflower seeds.


Quantity Ingredient
1 cup currants
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried figs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
800g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
200g wholemeal flour
2 tablespoons salt
2 x 7g sachets dried yeast
2 tablespoons dark golden syrup
butter, to serve, plus extra for buttering


  1. Place the dried fruit, cinnamon and cloves in a blender and pulse three or four times to chop.
  2. Sift the flours and salt into a large bowl. Combine the yeast and golden syrup with 600 ml of warm water. Make a well in the centre of the flour and work in about half the yeast and water mixture, gradually bringing in the flour from the edges. When combined, add the remaining yeast and water mixture, along with the dried fruit, and incorporate into a dough. If the dough is dry, add a little more water until it’s soft but not sticky.
  3. Knead the dough in the bowl or on a lightly floured surface by rolling, pushing and folding it over for about 8 minutes.
  4. Lightly flour the dough and knead it into an even, round shape. Place the dough in the mixing bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave it to prove in a draught-free, warmish spot. It may take an hour – the more slowly it proves, the better the flavour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  6. Once the dough has risen, punch it back to knock the air out of it. Butter and flour a 26 cm loaf tin and shape the dough to fit into it. Leave it to prove for another hour, until the dough has doubled in size. It should rise above the top of the tin.
  7. When ready to cook, carefully place the loaf tin in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the loaf from the tin and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  8. Leave the fruit loaf to cool on a wire rack, then serve with butter. It’s also lovely toasted.
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