Raisin & orange bread

I like fruit bread and have been meaning to add one to this blog for a while now. This is a simple recipe and a beginner can do this easily. I made it as a small loaf in my smallest size loaf tin (1lb).

Soak 75 grams of raisins in just enough milk to cover them for an hour before starting this dough.

Put 250 grams of strong white flour in a bowl and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add 3 tablespoons of caster sugar and 1.5 teaspoons of easy bake yeast. Mix in about a teaspoon of butter (as though you were making pastry), the zest of a clementine or small orange and a tablespoon of orange oil. Add 150 ml of warm water (50ml hot/100ml cold) and mix well.

Drain the raisins and then knead them into the dough until it is soft, smooth and elastic – about 5 minutes. I found that this took less kneading as it’s a smaller quantity and the fruit bulks it out a little.

Shape & place in an oiled 1lb loaf tin, cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for about 45 minutes. It will have at least doubled in size at the end of this time.

Preheat the oven to 230 C and while the bread is proving mix a teaspoon each of maple syrup and brown sugar together with about a tablespoon of boiling water and mix until the sugar is dissolved.

Before putting the bread in the oven brush it well but with a light touch with the maple syrup and sugar mix. Bake for 15 minutes on 230 C.

After 15 minutes reduce the heat to 200 C and brush the loaf with the maple syrup and sugar mix again lightly and bake for a further 15 minutes. The top of the loaf may look darker than you imagine it will be. It won’t be burnt as that’s just the sugars reacting to the heat.

Turn out to cool on a wire rack – the loaf sounds hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckles.