It's been a while since I last made a fruit loaf for my breakfast - I've been eating hot cross buns for a good while now. Delicious but sadly all gone. I haven't baked with spelt for a while either, and find it a good flour to use for breakfast breads as it doesn't seem to have the slight bitterness that wholemeal flour sometimes has.
A mixture of wholegrain spelt and strong white flour ensures that the loaf rises well and keeps its shape, yet still has the goodness of wholemeal flour contained in it. Although this is a fruit containing loaf, it isn't sweet - I don't really want too much added sugar for my breakfast (I get that through the rest of the day...) so I don't add sugar to my loaves usually. Here the flame raisins provide a little natural sweetness to kick start the day.
I have used these rather lovely Fairtrade raisins in my loaf - they are enormous!
The ones to the right are normal raisins for comparison! The flame raisins are darker too. They are from Chile and distributed by Traidcraft. You can find out more about Fairtrade here on Traidcraft's website, and you can also see the huge range of products they stock here. I admit that I don't always use fairtrade ingredients, but I don't really have an excuse because they are becoming (and have already become) much easier to get hold of - all of the major supermarkets have pretty extensive Fairtrade lines, and in some cases only stock the fairly traded version of a product (I think bananas certainly fall into this category for some of the supermarkets).
Spelt Raisin Breakfast Loaf
150g wholemeal spelt flour
225g boiling water
150g strong white flour
1tsp instant yeast
- Weigh 75g of the wholemeal spelt into a large mixing bowl, add the raisins and pour over 225g boiling water. Mix well and leave for a while until cooled (not completely cold, but cooler).
- Add the remaining spelt flour and white flour, yeast, salt and mix to a soft dough. I found I needed probably about 25ml more water to allow the dough to come together.
- Leave for about 20 minutes to rest.
- Knead briefly and leave for a further 30 minutes or so to rest.
- Prod out the dough to a rectangle, roll the short side towards you into a tight roll and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Leave to proove until increased in size. Mine didn't take all that longer - 30 minutes perhaps, perhaps a little more.
- Preheat the oven to gas 7/220C. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to gas 6/200C and bake a further 20 minutes. Turn over the bake the base for 10 more minutes at gas 6.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
The method may seem a little odd, but pouring boiling water over the flour is a technique I learnt from one of Dan Lepard's recipes (although it was a while ago so I can't remember which one!) and is supposed to be a very old technique - a portion of the flour is effectively 'cooked' by the boiling water and is supposed to help the loaf stay fresher for longer. I can't say I've tested this because my loaves are cut for the freezer as soon as they're cool - it's the only way I can keep them fresh enough for the rate I eat them. However, the technique also helps in a second way here - my flame raisins are quite shrivelled and dry, so sitting in the cooked flour mixture allows them to plump up nicely - making them juicier to eat and less likely to burn whilst baking too.
As I had hoped, this was an absolutely delicious bread. Not packed full of raisins, which wasn't the effect I was aiming for anyway - this is a loaf of bread with the occasional added raisin, rather than raisins held together by dough, if you see what I mean. It was very much enjoyed buttered for breakfast and would make fantastic toast, if you're so inclined! In fact, there's another one in the oven as I type!
I am entering this bread into this month's Fresh From the Oven challenge, which is Breakfast Fruit Breads, hosted this month by Sarah of La Cuisine de Sarah with a round up to be published by Michelle of Utterly Scrummy Food for Families and also into Breakfast Club (founded and hosted this month by Helen of Fuss Free Flavours), where the theme this month is Fairtrade ingredients.