Fruit and nut bread

    This heavily fruited German-style loaf is good at tea-time, served thickly sliced, or lightly toasted and buttered for breakfast. It contains no added fat (the fat present comes from the nuts), but the dried fruits – a mixture of apricots, pears, prunes and figs – give it a rich, moist texture and good keeping qualities.

    9 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 400 g (14 oz) strong white (bread) flour
    • ½ tsp salt
    • grated zest of ½ lemon
    • 1 sachet easy-blend dried yeast, about 7 g
    • 85 g (3 oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, roughly chopped
    • 85 g (3 oz) ready-to-eat dried pears, roughly chopped
    • 85 g (3 oz) stoned ready-to-eat prunes, roughly chopped
    • 50 g (1¼ oz) ready-to-eat dried figs, roughly chopped
    • 50 g (1¼ oz) chopped mixed nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts and cashews
    • 250 ml (8½ fl oz) tepid water

    Prep:6hr20min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:7hr 

    1. Mix the flour with the salt, lemon zest and yeast in a large bowl. Add the chopped fruits and nuts and mix in well. Stir in the tepid water and work the mixture with your hand to make a soft-textured, heavy dough.
    2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes or until it feels pliable. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp tea-towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1d–2 hours or until doubled in size.
    3. Turn the risen dough out onto the floured work surface and knock it back with your knuckles to return it to its original size. Gently knead the dough into a neat ball shape, then set it on a well-greased baking sheet. Cover with a damp tea-towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
    4. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF, gas mark 6). Uncover the loaf and bake for 30–40 minutes or until it is nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Cover with foil if it is becoming too brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. This bread can be kept for up to 5 days.
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