Spiced fruit loaf

Spiced fruit loaf

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(18 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 20 mins Plus soaking, rising and proving

More effort

Makes 2 x 2lb loaves, each cuts into 8 slices

A treat when freshly baked and spread with butter, then try it toasted for breakfast the next day

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal190
  • fat4g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs36g
  • sugars14g
  • fibre2g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.35g
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    For the dough

    • 450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting



      Flour is usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…

    • 2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast



      Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form…

    • 50g caster sugar
    • 150ml warm milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

    • 1 egg, beaten



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 50g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
    • oil, for greasing

    For the spices

    • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp ground ginger

    For the dried fruit

    • 50g dried apricot, chopped
    • 50g dried fig, chopped



      Although not juicy, the fig is an incredibly luscious fruit, with a delicate aroma and sweet…

    • 50g pitted date, chopped



      Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…

    • 50g sultana
    • 50g glacé cherry, chopped
    • juice 1 orange



      One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…


    1. Soak the dried fruits in the orange juice for about 30 mins, then sieve, reserving the juice.

    2. Put the flour, yeast, caster sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl with the spices and soaked fruit and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, reserved orange juice, the beaten egg and the melted butter. Mix everything together to form a dough – start with a wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it’s too wet, add more flour.

    3. Knead in the bowl or on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and springy. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.

    4. Knock the dough back by kneading for a few secs. Dust 2 x 2lb loaf tins with flour. Halve the dough. Use a little flour to help you shape each half into a smooth oval, then pop them into the tins. Cover both loosely with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about 20 mins. Meanwhile, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

    5. Bake for 20 mins, then cool in the tins before turning out and slicing.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Hannah's picture
    29th Jul, 2019
    Made an account just to say how BAD this is, i was dubious like some of the people here about these quantities, but this hasn't worked after 30 minutes of kneading and hour of proving it's far too dense and has been a huge waste of ingredients.
    1st Oct, 2018
    Needs much longer to prove and a longer cooking time to turn out well.
    22nd Mar, 2017
    With a lot more kneading and first prove time in a warm place, this turned out really well will make again! I only had one loaf tin so shaped the other half into a rough oval and it baked perfectly well on the tray. I added mixed spice instead of ginger and a little chopped dark chocolate - lovely!
    25th Feb, 2017
    i to cant get it to rise , now been proving for 7 hours and it not moved an inch, yeast is fine as made some bread just before making this . bbc can you please explain this .
    Paul Melton Harvey
    5th Aug, 2016
    Seriously - make this fruit loaf and you will never want to buy one again. Yes I found that it does take longer to rise than it states in the method (more about this later) but the extra wait is well worth it. As mentioned in some other comments I too thought that there wasn't enough liquid but don't be tempted to add more as the fruit is very wet after being soaked in the orange juice. I used packet dried mixed fruit instead of individual fruits as in the recipe and it works just fine. I left the first rise for one and a half hours at 35 degrees in the proving oven. Most modern ovens have this temperature control facility built in. After needing lightly before the second rise I split the dough in half and used one half for the loaf which I put into a one pound loaf tin and I divided the second half into 6 pieces and made them into buns and set them on a flat baking tray. I left all this to prove again as before for one and a half hours then baked them for 20 minutes (buns) and 25 minutes for the loaf. These are superb eaten as they are or even better lightly toasted and spread with real butter.
    25th Jan, 2016
    Just made the loaf and mine did not rise either. Why is there only 150 ml of warm milk? Every loaf I have made over the years it is 300 ml of water to 450 gram of flour? The recipe also says it makes 2 one pound loaves?
    jenclews's picture
    14th Jan, 2016
    The reason this loaf takes so long to rise/doesn't rise is the method is really NOT allowing the yeast to do its work. I would be making the dough first (yeast, sugar, flour, liquid) then allowing the dough to prove properly, then add the fruit (gently, it's always a bit tricky doing this.) Then shape the loaves, put in tins and allow to prove. Use the timings as a guide, if the dough hasn't almost doubled in size, leave it until it has.
    David N's picture
    David N
    1st Nov, 2015
    1. Don't forget the salt - included in description but not in ingredients. 2. This has made the best fruit loaf for me ever. I used a Lidl bread machine all ingredients (not halved) in machine directly. Set at 1250grms, max browning, programme three -whole meal bread. Aroma whilst baking wonderful. It made a fluffy light juicy fruit loaf (not dry) fully baked no part uncooked. 3. Reading some of the reviews here, having started the machine made me wonder if I should have chosen another recipe as some are rather off putting but for me and my machine it was perfect and recipe will be used again
    5th Apr, 2015
    I too struggled to get the dough to rise. I had it sat in the tins overnight for the second prove and it barely made the top of the tins. I also found that the 20 minutes wasn't long enough, though the top browned well in that time, the bread is very doughy. One loaf is still in the oven, the test loaf will unfortunately go to waste :(
    3rd Feb, 2013
    Just made this for the first time. Had 2lb & 1lb tins so tried half in each. Came out better in smaller tin. Baked for 30 mins in fan oven. Tastes delicious. Will use same recipe to make tea cakes.


    17th Jan, 2016
    at what point do you add the spices? and can you use half the ingredients to make half the yield?
    28th Sep, 2013
    Just tried to make this for a second time, with new yeast. Smells lovely but didn't rise at all, really disappointed. :'-( What am I doing wrong?
    24th Oct, 2013
    I agree with people about the timing. I have made this a few times and I bake it for 30 minutes. I use white bread flour. Also be careful not to use too much liquid as it will not cook in the middle. Stick with it though, it is really tasty. I use the soft dried fruit from Lidl which is quite soft, especially the apricots.
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