Simnel spiced breakfast loaf

Simnel spiced breakfast loaf

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(4 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 45 mins plus proving

More effort

Cuts into 12 slices
Toast a slice of this celebration bread and top with butter to give hot cross buns a serious run for their money

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal329
  • fat8g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs56g
  • sugars19g
  • fibre3g
  • protein8g
  • salt0.6g


  • 225g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 350g malted grain bread flour (we used Waitrose own brand), sieved to remove the grains
  • 2 x 7g sachets fast-action dried yeast
  • 25g golden caster sugar
  • 50g dark brown muscovado sugar, plus 1 rounded tbsp
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 50g butter, plus 2 tbsp and extra for greasing



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 2 medium eggs, beaten separately
  • 175g raisin


  1. Put each flour into its own mixing bowl and add a sachet of yeast and ½ tsp salt to each bowl. Stir the caster sugar into the white flour, and the muscovado and spices into the brown flour.

  2. Put the milk and butter in a small pan and warm gently until the butter has melted. Make a well in the middle of each flour mix and pour half the milk mixture into each. Add 1 egg to each, and mix to a soft, sticky dough – if you have a table-top mixer or food processor with a dough hook, use that to mix, as the dough is quite sticky.

  3. Turn each dough onto a lightly floured surface and and knead each for 5 mins until smooth (or knead in your mixer). Put back into their bowls, cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave somewhere warm until the dough has doubled in size. Lightly dust a 900g loaf tin with flour.

  4. Turn out the doughs and knead each for 30 secs more. Roll out each dough thinly so that its width is the same as the length of the loaf tin, but roll it as long as you can – the longer it is, the more ‘swirls’ you’ll get. Melt the 2 tbsp butter and brush the spicy malted dough all over, then scatter with the raisins and extra 1 tbsp of muscovado sugar. Lift the white dough on top and press together. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter, then roll up from one of the ends that matches the length of the tin. Lift the roll into the tin and cover loosely with oiled cling film. Leave somewhere warm for 20-30 mins until the dough has risen nicely above the top of the tin.

  5. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and bake for 20 mins, then turn down to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake for 20 mins more. Turn out the loaf and check it sounds hollow when tapped on the base – if not, pop back in the tin and bake for another 5 mins. Cool on a wire rack, then slice, toast and butter or eat cold.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Robert Nicklas's picture
Robert Nicklas
5th May, 2020
The hydration levels look all wrong. Malted or whole meal flour requires higher hydration but this has only 28.5% for brown part and 40% for the white part. OK the egg adds more liquid but sharing the milk equally seems chemically wrong.
15th Mar, 2016
I've just made this as an alternative to hot cross buns this Easter - and it's great. In the interests of using what I had in the pantry, I replaced the malted grain flour with regular wholemeal flour, which meant I needed to use a bit more milk to get a soft dough. And I used molasses sugar instead of muscavado. Took note of the comment by sallybeattie and rolled it up tightly and it came out looking fabulous! I wish we could post a pic here, because I'm pretty chuffed with it. It tastes so good, toasted and spread with butter.
11th Nov, 2014
I made this loaf last Easter and will be making it again for Christmas. It was delicious and when toasted smells just like a hot cross bun. The only thing I would do better next time is to roll it up more tightly, as the layers tended to separate while eating it.
23rd Apr, 2014
What is in "mixed spice"? I'm an American and, as far as I know, the stores here don't sell anything by this name. Gorgeous looking bread!
goodfoodteam's picture
6th May, 2014
Hi there, a typical blend of mixed spice would include, allspice, cinnamom, nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger and ground mace, thanks.
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