Monday, 27 May 2013

Mixed Fruit Tea Loaf

Mixed Fruit Tea Loaf

Time for a freshly baked mixed fruit tea loaf. This is a Scottish favourite that I haven't made in quite some time. Thankfully my taste buds have been reawakened with this delicious teabread loaf. This Mixed Fruit Tea Loaf is made from a sweet bread that I call a teabread dough. Its a yeast based rich fermented dough that has plenty of variation. You can shape it into anything you like. I use this sweet bread dough to make doughnuts, iced creamed fingers, cream cookie buns, Lemon plait (pictured above) Mixed Fruit Tea Loaf and with a little added ingredients I use this sweet bread dough to make hot cross buns.

You can also use this sweet bread dough with laminated dough products like Danish pastries and French croissants.  The list really is endless and you can decorate to your hearts content, it's such a versatile recipe. Today I have used "easy bake yeast" a dry yeast which like fresh yeast is very fast at proofing the dough. To add richness to this sweet bread dough I have added milk, butter, sugar and eggs. The texture and flavour of this Mixed Fruit Tea Loaf is divine, its soft and full of rich flavour.

For this recipe my finished unbaked sweet bread dough weighed off at nearly 1Kg, so I used 600 grams for the Mixed Fruit Tea Loaf and the rest for an iced Lemon plait. Bear in mind that this type of sweet bread does darken very quickly because of the sugar content, so don't worry. You can finish your loaf or whatever you make with icing or a sweet bun glace as soon as it comes out of the oven. The choice is yours... enjoy
Mixed Fruit Tea Loaf

450g Strong Flour
75g Caster Sugar
50g unsalted butter
200ml milk (full fat or semi skimmed)
10g easy bake yeast (or 15 to 20 grams fresh yeast)
2 medium Free range eggs
2 teaspoons egg yellow food colour (optional)
100g Dried mixed stem fruits (you can increase this to 150 grams, but it will take longer to bake)


Step 1
measure out your milk and briefly warm it up in a microwave, you want it lukewarm, now add 25 grams of the sugar and all of the dried yeast along with your egg yellow food colour if you're using it. Give it a quick stir and set aside for 10 minutes.

Step 2
Put your flour, the rest of the sugar and the diced butter into your mixing machine fitted with a dough hook. Set on low speed and mix for 5 to ten minutes to break up the butter and blend the rest of the ingredients together.

Step 3
Now lightly beat the eggs and add to the milk yeast mixture, pour all of this into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and set on low speed. Once the dough starts to come together increase speed to #2 for a further five minutes. If you think the dough is too dry then add a touch of water or milk. A minute before the end of mixing the dough add your dried mixed fruit.

Step 4
Once your dough is mixed and you have a soft silky consistency place in a warm moist place and proof for one hour.

Step 5
Knock back or force all the air out of the dough and finally mould and shape into your preferred tea loaf tin. Place in a warm moist area for another one hour.

Step 6
Bake in a preheated oven @ 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6 for around 30 to 40 minutes.
Mixed Fruit Tea Loaf

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