Servings: Makes two medium loaves, about 10 – 12 slices each
Time: About 2 hours 45 minutes, including rising time
Difficulty: Reasonably easy
This is a wonderfully firm, moist and flavour-packed bread, perfect for sweet or savoury accompaniments, especially cheese.
- 400g wholemeal flour bread flour
- 100g strong white bread flour + more for dusting
- 5g salt
- 7g instant yeast
- 60g butter. softened
- 20g treacle
- 320ml tepid water
- 60g dried figs, chopped (* see tip 1)
- 60g dates, chopped
- 50g raisins
- Put the flours, salt, yeast, butter, treacle* and water into a bowl and mix well, either by hand or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Make sure the salt and yeast do not come into direct contact at this stage. (* see tip 2)
- Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 – 12 minutes by hand, or use the stand mixer with the dough hook on slow speed for 7 – 10 minutes. Put the dough in an oiled bowl covered with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
- Line a large baking tray and lightly dust it with flour. Work the dates, figs and raisins into the dough, distributing them evenly. Divide the dough into two pieces and shape each into a ball. Place well apart on the baking tray and put the tray inside a large plastic bag. (* See tip 3) Inflate the bag to create a micro-climate, tuck the loose ends underneath the baking tray and leave for about an hour for the dough to rise again.
- Heat the oven to 220 degrees C/fan 200C/425F/Gas 7. Dust the two loaves lightly with flour and use a sharp knife or razor blade to make slashes across the top surface. (e.g. three parallel ones or maybe a naughts and crosses style double cross.)
- Bake for around 25 minutes then place on a wire rack to cool.
* Tip 1 – Rather than chopping the figs and dates, use kitchen scissors. It’s easier.
* Tip 2 – Mix the treacle with the tepid water before adding. This should help get it all off the spoon.
* Tip 3 – Use a white swing bin liner.