21 November 2010

Fruit & Nut Loaf 2

The first time I tried a fruit & nut loaf, I used a rice cooker to bake it. Yes, a rice cooker. You can see the results here.

This time round, I decided I would bake it the traditional way - in an oven. I'm pretty pleased with how this loaf turned out. Texture was light and fluffy, the way I wanted it to be. The dough was moist and soft, and rose beautifully. 

The only improvements I would make are:
- add more fruit and nut; and
- knead the fruit and nut into the dough instead of just rolling it up (so that the fruit and nut will 'adhere' to the bread better).

Despite the imperfections, it received the thumbs-up from my mom (who loves fruit & nut bread), and she promptly handed me a bag of sunflower seeds. The only request she made was for a crunchy crust (vs soft crust). Looks like there'll be more fruit and nut loafs coming up...

Recipe for a small 8x4" loaf:
1-1/4 tsp yeast
10g sugar
150ml warm water
3/4 tsp oil or butter
3/4 tsp salt
220g bread flour 
dried fruit and nuts, amount according to preference 
(I used dried cranberries and currants, pumpkin and sunflower seeds)

1 - Combine yeast, sugar and warm water. Set aside for 10 min till frothy.,

2 - Add oil/butter, salt and flour. Mix till you get a sticky dough. 

3 - Knead till smooth and elastic (10-15 min), adding extra flour if dough is too  sticky.

4 - Shape to a ball and place in a greased bowl, coating dough with oil. Cover with damp cloth and let dough rise till double in size (about 1 hour).

5 - Knock down. Press to a flat rectangle, and sprinkle dried fruit and nuts. Roll dough and knead gently a few times. Form into a loaf and place in a lightly oiled loaf pan. Cover with damp cloth and prove till double in size (about 40min).

6 - Bake at 190*C (or 180*C if using dark pan) for about 30 min. When done, cool on a wire rack. (Leaving the bread to cool in the pan for more than 3-5 min will cause the bottom to be soggy from the condensation.)

Special thanks to my dear friend, KL. 
Without your encouragement and your wonderful bread book,
I wouldn't have come this far in bread making  :)


KL said...

Congrats!!! Your bread looks great! This is addictive, isn't it?

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