Eve’s Fruit Bread in a Kenwood Mixer

20131031_070741I’m going to take a little break from writing this next piece, as it was supplied in whole by Eve, my wife.  (I can’t ever say “my wife” without feeling a bit like a bad 70’s comic telling a joke – a la Monkhouse, Dawson, etc…)

I had a couple of slices of this for my breakfast, this morning and it was spot on.

 Eve’s Fruit Bread

Warm 620ml full fat milk in microwave for 60 seconds

Stir in 2 tablespoons of muscovado sugar and pour into mixer bowl

Add 2x 7 gram packets of yeast,

Add 1kg white bread flour, 3 teaspoons of salt and 2 free range eggs.

Beat in the mixer at speed setting 1 until all is incorporated,then reduce down to the “min” setting – until the dough looks smooth, which will take approx 4 minutes or so.

Stop the mixer and scrape the dough off the hook every now and then with a RUBBER spatula, if the dough hook should get all clogged up.

You want a fairly wet dough, as the fruit added later will absorb some of the moisture.  If the mixture looks very wet, add more flour; if too dry, add more milk.

Don’t add your fruit yet, as this will slow down the rise during the prove

Remove bowl from the mixer and cover with a disposable plastic shower cap for an hour or so at normal room temperature, until the dough has doubled in size

Turn out the dough onto a oiled work top and flatten out into a rough rectangle, sprinkle a handful of dried fruit over the dough rectangle then fold into 3, cut dough in half, add more fruit and place one half on top of the other, repeat 4 times. I tend to use about 250g of fruit.

Finally, cut dough in half, then flatten each half into a  rectangle and roll up the dough into a sausage shape, tuck the ends in.

Pop each of them into a 500g loaf tin. Being sure to pick off any fruit from the top of each loaf as it will burn in the oven.

Cover the tins with an upside down clean carrier bag and let the dough prove in a warm place for 1/2 hr to 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile Turn on the oven to 200c and pop a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven.

When the oven is hot and the bread is risen and ready to bake, remove the plastic bags, brush the loaf tops with milk (to give a dark golden brown top) and gently slash the tops with a sharp bread knife and gently place in the oven

Pour a cup of water into the roasting tin and shut the door quickly and gently.

Set timer for 1/2 hour.

When baked and sounding hollow when tapped, remove from oven, pick off any burnt fruit (!!) and leave to cool on wire racks.

Eat with lots of butter.

Tip. If using a fan oven, turn the oven off before opening the door otherwise all the lovely steam and heat will be blown out by the fan.

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